One of the most prevalent figures of Italian modernism, Achille Castiglioni was presented with not one but nine Compasso d’Oro awards over the course of his illustrious career. A true innovator, Castiglioni once described his simple approach to design as, “Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means”.
Working alongside his brother Pier Giacomo following his graduation from the Politecnico di Milano in 1944, Achille Castiglioni is renowned for his experimentation with industrial products and fusing them with design. Innovatively working with resins originally used by the US Army and repurposing tractor seats, Castiglioni collaborated with esteemed manufacturers such as Alessi, Flos, Cassina, Zanotta and Knoll. Finishing each creation with unique touches, his iconic Arco Lamp even features a hole in the heavy marble base, so it can be carried using a rolling pin.
Often challenging the mind to look again at our everyday objects, Achille Castiglioni’s designs offer an unprecedented insight into the human mind. Refusing to compromise on an object’s practical purpose, each creation is as functional as it is beautiful. Designing icons such as the Arco Floor Lamp, the Leonardo Writing Desk and the Snoopy Table Lamp, Castiglioni has been honoured with countless awards and places in the permanent collections at New York’s MoMA, the Vitra Design Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
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