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Achille Castiglioni

Achille Castiglioni

ITALY (1918-2002)
Headshot of designer.

"Start from scratch. Stick to common sense." Achille Castiglioni's designs are often inspired by everyday things and make use of ordinary materials like extruded aluminum and stainless steel. The genius of Castiglioni's inventive imagination is in his ability to use the minimal amount of materials while creating forms with a maximum effect.

Along with other postwar designers like Marco Zanuso and Ettore Sottsass, Castiglioni is a product of the artisan tradition of fine craftsmanship and a familial passion for sensual, expressive forms. With his brothers, designers Livio and Pier Giacomo, Achille helped establish the Milan Trienniale, the Compasso d'Oro awards and the ADI. And, like his contemporaries, Castiglioni took an active part in Italy's postwar design renaissance. Lack of funds for large architectural projects forced designers to focus on small objects like furniture, tableware, lighting, radios, typewriters and office equipment.

Castiglioni himself possessed a creative potency and flexibility that gave birth to an array of stylistically varied objects including the minimalist Parentesi Lamp, the "ready made" Taccia and the poetic Fucsia Hanging Lamp. One of his favorite design strategies was to place a familiar form in an unexpected context – a tractor seat atop a stool, an automobile headlight reflector as a table lamp.

His highly individual work still displays an ironic humor, lively sense of paradox, and thoughtful concern for formal balance. During his long career, he has been a professor of interior and industrial design at both the Politecnico di Torino and Politecnico di Milano and has been honored with eight Compasso d'Oro awards. He is one of the most important and complex figures in Italian design of the 20th century.

Artist photo from 1000 Chairs courtesy of Taschen

Achille Castiglioni

Fucsia Pendant Lamp 8
Fucsia Pendant Lamp 3
Toio Floor Lamp
Arco Floor Lamp
Taraxacum 88 Pendant Lamp
Parentesi Lamp
Fucsia Pendant Lamp 1
Taccia Lamp
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