Luciano Bertoncini

Luciano Bertoncini

Italy (1939)
Headshot of designer.

Since 1958, Luciano Bertoncini has been quietly and happily helping to create Italy’s design scene. Some say that Bertoncini, a man who eschews the spotlight, hasn’t received due credit for the impact he’s had on contemporary European modernism. But that doesn’t seem to bother him. “Bertoncini is neither envious nor bitter,” says Virginio Briatore in the introduction to Bertoncini’s 1999 retrospective; “he considers himself a lucky man, and he is always in good humor.”

Born in Feltre in 1939, Bertoncini studied technical drawing and, in 1957, began working with architect Vittorio Rossi in Treviso. With Rossi he learned integrity in architecture and got a chance to design not only buildings but also furniture. Rossi was a partner at Mobilindex – one of the few modern manufacturers in the area. “Those who were not around at the time will find it difficult to imagine the furniture that was made then,” says Bertoncini. “Louis XIV to rustic country!” His first piece, the futuristic and minimal, sprawling and transitional Zattera Bed, was well ahead of its time. It was included in the groundbreaking 1971 MoMA exhibit Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, which also featured his collaboration with Joe Colombo.

Bertoncini began working with Colombo after the master took a liking to Bertoncini’s Gronda coat hook for Fiarm. The collaboration was cut short, however, with Colombo’s untimely death in 1971. Bertoncini was tasked with completing Colombo’s Total Furnishing Unit, a much-lauded component of MoMA’s famous and influential 1971 exhibit on Italian design – which The New York Times called “very large, costly and provocative,” and which solidified Bertoncini’s career.

In 1975, the designer was approached by Aprilia, the famous motorcycle manufacturer. This began a new phase of Bertoncini’s career, where he shifted his attention from the static to objects built for speed. “To design a motorbike,” says the designer, “one has to enter the world of motorcycling, which is a very special habitat, almost maniacal: Every part of the bike has its rituals, its languages, its mechanisms.”

Well into the new millennium, he has continued to develop his furniture as well, creating pieces for Kristalia®, Bellato and others, including Design Within Reach. Capitalizing on his experience in mechanical engineering, Bertoncini creates perfectly balanced pieces that have no material or decorative excess. Those he’s worked with, though, credit his success to his personality as much as his genius. “In reality,” says Mino Bellato, “Bertoncini’s primary virtue is his sociable character: He gets on with everybody and has no fight with the world.”

Luciano Bertoncini

Min Table, Small with Glass Top
$995.00 - $1,200.00USD
Min Table, Large with Glass Top
$1,495.00 - $1,750.00USD
Min Bed - Twin
$675.00 - $1,275.00USD
Min Bed w/ Wood Headboard-Twin
$1,325.00 - $2,125.00USD
Min Bed w/ Plexi Headboard-Twin
$1,325.00 - $2,125.00USD
Min Bedside Table with Pedestal Base
$620.00USD
Min Bedside Table with Shelf
$620.00USD
Luciano Mirror, Small
$675.00USD
Luciano Mirror, Large
$875.00USD
© 2014 Design Within Reach