“It is not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.” – Anna Castelli Ferrieri Anna Castelli Ferrieri is the embodiment of the Italian creative philosophy that advocates designing “from the teaspoon to the city.” Castelli Ferrieri has contributed designs to both. Trained at the famed Milan Polytechnic Institute as an architect, Castelli Ferrieri worked in the office of the postwar rationalist Franco Albini, who became a role model for her. Castelli Ferrieri started designing for Kartell in 1966, after being chosen as the architect for their headquarters. Famous for its critical role in the introduction to the consumer market of plastic as an acceptable material, Kartell was founded by Anna’s husband-to-be, Giulio Castelli. Castelli Ferrieri became intrinsically linked to the company, both as a designer and as its Design Director, instrumental in bringing such innovative designers to Kartell as Joe Colombo, Marco Zanuso with Richard Sapper, and Achille Castiglioni. In her own designs for Kartell, Castelli Ferrieri exploited new materials through innovative forms. For her “4970/84” container elements, Castelli Ferrieri treated the design as a mini architectural exercise, with units that are stackable and interchangeable based on the needs of the new lifestyle of the 1960s. For her beautiful and useful designs, Castelli Ferrieri has won numerous design awards, including the prestigious Compasso d’Oro, but the fact that most of her pieces are still in production bespeaks the highest praise.
It is not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.