Modern industrial design was born in the great cities of Europe – Paris, Berlin and, of course, Milan. Following World War II, Milan became pre-eminent, leading the way with a stunning display of products from Achille Castiglioni, Vico Magistretti and Antonio Citterio. The vitality of post-war design that flourished in the studios of Milan undoubtedly influenced Enrico Franzolini, one of the city's young but most prolific furniture designers. On his way to becoming an international household name, Franzolini designs for the most prominent furniture companies in Europe and the U.S, including Moroso, Cappellini, Crassevig, Accademia and Knoll International.
Franzolini began his career as an artist – his work expresses a sculptural elegance and an aesthetic refinement. He exhibited work at the Venice Biennale, as well as other exhibitions and galleries in the 1970s and then turned to design and received a degree in architecture in 1979. Like Magistretti and many other designers in Italy, Franzolini has been active across the spectrum of creative fields from fine art to architecture to the various arts of the craftsman. He uses a variety of materials – wood, metal and all the varieties of plastic – with confidence on both the large and small scale. Franzolini's work epitomizes the integrity, the technical innovation and the ingenious forms for which Italian design has long been admired.
Franzolini's Compasso D'Oro side chair and armchair received Italy's top design award, the Compasso D'Oro at the 1998 Venice Trienniale. This award is one of the highest achievements that can be attained as a designer in Europe and is a tribute to Franzolini's extraordinary talent. Franzolini also designed the Tapis chair and the Elan chair, elegant seating found in elegant hotels and restaurants throughout Europe.