Achille Castiglioni – Italian Architect and Designer

Achille Castiglioni – Italian Architect and Designer

 Achille Castiglioni was born in Milan on February 16th 1918. In 1944 he graduated in Architecture from Politecnico of Milan. One of the great masters of Italian design, he has a long list of awards he has received, including eight Compassi d’Oro. His activity as a designer is an unmistakable blend of simplicity, irony and fun and it shows his close interest in the way objects are used, in the potential offered by technology and in the use of new materials.

Since 1940, he has been experimenting industrial products with his brothers Livio (1911-1979) and Pier Giacomo (1913-1968). After the graduation, he started to looking into forms, techniques and new materials, conceiving a complete design process.

From 1945 to 1962, he leaded the studio’s activities with his brother Pier Giacomo in a studio in Milan at Corso di Porta Nuova 57, the building was knocked down in 1962, so they transferred the studio in Piazza Castello 27, where he collaborated with Pier Giacomo until he died in 1968. From 1968 to 2002, when Achille died, he has been leading the studio by himself.

He achieved  in 1969 the teaching qualification on “Artistic Design for Industry” from the Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione (Ministry of Public Education) and he taught at Turin Architecture University until 1980. Afterwards he acquired the teaching post in Politecnico of Milan until 1993 as fulltime “Industrial Design” professor.

Achille and Pier Giacomo’s industrial designs were smart and playful, and most of the works they did together are not attributable exclusively to either one of them. Among these works are the light designs they did for FLOS, such as: Taraxacum ceiling lamp and Gatto table lamp (1960), Beehive -or Splügen Braü lamp (1961), Toio –or Toy lamp (1962),  Arco lamp (1962), Taccia lamp (1962), and Snoopy lamp (1967). But they also designed playful furnishings products during this time; some examples are: Sello stool for Zanotta (1957), Sgabello per Telefono, a telephone stool in the shape of a bicycle seat, and the Mezzardo, or sharecropper’s stool, for Zanotta (1957); the RR 226 stereo system (1965); and the Sanluca chair for Gavina (1961).

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