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Castiglioni was born in Milan in 1918 and graduated in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic in 1944. During a long and celebrated career he produced more than 150 designs and had enduring and productive relationships with many Italian design houses including Flos, Zanotti and Alessi products. Read more.

An inspiring and awesome teacher, he was regarded by many as the Grandfather of Industrial Design. Castiglioni’s principal design strategy was to use a minimal amount of materials to maximum dramatic effect – and this is evident in iconic, award-winning designs such as his Arco Floor Lamp, which has been in continuous production for fifty years.

Between 1960 and 1989 Castiglioni received the prestigious Compasso d’Ora no less than seven times and The Museum of Modern Art in New York is home to a permanent collection of fourteen of his creations. In 1956, Castiglioni founded the Association for Industrial Design and in 1987 The Royal College of Art in London awarded him an honorary degree.

Despite the brevity and extent of his achievements, Castiglioni famously said of his work – “There has to be an irony in design. I see around me a professional disease of taking everything too seriously. One of my secrets is to joke all the time.”

He died in 2002. Close.

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