The Arco system was designed by Studio BBPR for Olivetti in the 50’s and 60’s. The desk alone looks like it’s going for around $2500 on the used market. Way too much for a desk, but would be nice to have such a classic design as inspiration every day.
Some details on the desk from this auction:
lacquered steel, vinyl, plastic
63 w x 66 d x 30 h inches
Desk features three locking drawers and return features five shallow drawers. Signed with molded manufacturer’s mark to desk drawer: [Olivetti Arredamenti Metallici].
Some images via 1st Dibs
These reconfigured typewriters are by Tauba Auerbach. Olivettis looks awesome to begin with, so these souped-up specimens take it to the next level. I can’t make sense of the altered readouts of these machines, but apparently there is a system at work:
Auerbach often bases her work on these sorts of solvable codes or systems. In one of her works, a series of reconfigured typewriters, she alters the keys so that their letters and symbols no longer correspond to what appears on the paper. The typewriters are painted with clues to the logic of their new operating systems; once each code is cracked, the machine becomes functional again. Link
She’ll show in the Whitney Museum in NYC until May 30th 2010.
“The Olivetti Lettera 32 is a portable mechanical typewriter designed by Marcello Nizzoli for Olivetti in 1963 as the successor of the popular Olivetti Lettera 22. This typewriter was popular amongst journalists and students.
The typewriter is sized about 34x35x10 cm (with the carriage return lever adding about 1-2 more centimeters in height), making it portable at least for the time’s standards, even though its 5.9 kg weight may limit portability somewhat.”