Antonio Citterio

ITALY (1950)

Antonio Citterio has earned a reputation for his uncompromising design and craftsmanship. Born in Meda, a small city north of Milan, Citterio graduated in architecture from the Politecnico of Milan in 1972 and established a design studio with Paolo Nava, who remained a close collaborator until 1981. Citterio also worked with architect Vittorio Gregotti on the restoration of the Brera Art Gallery in Milan. In 1973 Citterio began a long-term partnership with the furniture company B&B Italia.

Since 1987, Citterio has worked with his wife, American architect Terry Dwan. Their studio, Citterio-Dwan has designed showrooms for both B&B Italia and Vitra and interiors for Esprit. By the end of the 1990s, his list of clients included the best design-oriented manufacturers in Europe, including Kartell, Vitra, Artemide, Flexform, Olivetti and Moroso.

The 1990s marked Citterio’s first notable achievement in furniture design when he designed a new office-seating product for Vitra. Executed in steel, leather and fabric, its elegance and simplicity belied the strength of its functionality. Citterio went on to create a series of colorful folding tables and trolleys made from plastic, aluminum and steel, designed to provide an appealing option for office storage.

Citterio creates visual interest and harmony by combining materials and forms in original, yet relatively thoughtful and decorous ways. For example, he may mix high-tech and natural materials or rework earlier forms with stark modernist lines, but without the “radical eclecticism” and irony of designers like Robert Venturi and other postmodernists. Citterio received Compasso d’Oro awards in 1979 and 1987 and has taught design at the prestigious Domus Academy.

Artist photo from 1000 Chairs courtesy of Taschen.

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