When it comes to fashion and design, the world often turns to Italy to set the trends. Italian influence on fashion and design is undeniable. Italian design has already become synonymous with both refined style and good taste. Italian design never goes out of style. Like a good Italian wine, it tends to become better with age. Italian designers perfectly understand that having a sense of style doesn’t necessary mean to play it safe. In fact, they create bold and unique designs that can become iconic and enduring. So let’s find out more about three famous Italian designers who influenced the history of architecture and interior design.
Antonio Citterio is a famous Italian designer and architect. He has a great impact on Italian design. His style is a perfect combination of timeless shapes and high-quality materials. That’s why his products, interiors and architectural projects are so popular: from the kitchen to the bathroom, from the chair to the company headquarters. His designs are always characterized by functionality and beauty.
SUITA Sofa by Vitra
Antonio Citterio was born in 1950 in the northern Italian city of Meda, the area famous for its furniture production and numerous artisan workshops and factories. He designed his first piece of furniture in his father’s workshop. At the age of 18 he received his first design award for a cupboard design. At 22 he opened his own design studio, while still studying architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan.
For many years he was associated with Terry Dwan, they collaborated on numerous residential and commercial projects in Europe and Japan. In 1999 Antonio Citterio founded the Antonio Citterio and Partners studio with Particia Viel. Since then he has been working for leading international brands, furnishing luxury hotels, offices and exhibitions. His studio develops projects of residential and commercial buildings, industrials plants, public buildings. Besides, Antonio Citterio works in the field of industrial design, collaborating with a great number of Italian and foreign companies such as Ansorg, Arclinea, Axor-Hansgrohe, B & B Italia, Flexform, Flos, Hermès, Iittala, Kartell, Maxalto, Sanitec (Geberit Group), Technogym and Vitra.
SOLO '14 Sofa by B&B Italia
Antonio Citterio has received numerous international awards. For example, the British Royal Society awarded him with the title Royal Designer for Industry in 2008. Antonio Citterio teaches at the Academy of Architecture at the University of Mendrisio in Switzerland.
One of Antonio Citterio’s most famous furniture designs is undoubtedly BIO chair created for the Italian brand Kartell. Bio Chair was designed using a revolutionary natural material devised by Kartell, who has continued to test and improve on the organic characteristics and performance of an industrial product both beautiful and well made.
“For a designer, to work on the evolution of materials and above all, on biodegradable products over time is an extraordinary step, from the research perspective”. Antonio Citterio
ONE Chair by Kartell
Paola Navone is a woman of many talents. She has worked as an interior designer, architect and art director. Her passion for timeless design has attracted collaboration with some of the industry’s top brands such as Armani casa, Knoll International, Natuzzi, Alessi, Molteni and Poliform. She reinterprets the past for a modern life style, skillfully combining inspirations from different epochs and styles to create immortal designs. This process always relies on traditions of Italian craftsmanship and has proved to be a real success. This her magical formula that makes her designs gain a mass approval, even reaching some more humble consumers thanks to her collaboration with more popular brands: Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie. In the 80s Paola Navone had an active role in the avant-garde design movements Alchimia and Memphis. In 1988 she created her own brand Mondo together with Giulio Cappellini.
AIRPORT Sofa by Poliform
After living for many years abroad, Paola Navone now sees herself as a modern ethnic nomad. Nowadays, Paola Navone works as an interior designer and consultant to furniture and material producers, always trying to combine modern design and traditional handicraft. Paola Navone is a dreamer, frank and eclectic. Her soul holds flavors and colors from the south of the world, that she knows so well, loves and frequents, together with the taste and the shapes of the West, rich in traditions and motion. All this gives life to her inexhaustible curiosity in search of materials, forms and structures in present, past and future.
BRICK Table by Gervasoni
We would like to talk about Paola Navone successful collaboration with Baxter, a young but already worldwide famous company, specialized in the production of design leather sofas. One of Baxter’s best known models is undoubtedly Chester Moon created by Paola Navone. This sofa was born from a reinterpretation of a classical model. It’s incredible how this project is able to sum up the importance of the shape balance, still keeping its own simplicity despite the complexity of the techniques that characterize its realization. It draws inspiration from the past for what concerns the history of the handicraft techniques that are necessary for its development and it ties up the new century for its simple and neat lines.
CHESTER MOON Sofa by Baxter
Mario Bellini is a renowned Italian architect and designer who has influenced the history of architecture and international design, creating some of the most innovative products. Mario Bellini received the Compasso d’Oro eight times (the Compasso D’Oro is a prestigious industrial design award) and 25 of his works are in the permanent design collection of the New York MoMA, which dedicated to him a personal exhibition in 1987. Besides, Mario Bellini was the editor of Domus, a famous Italian magazine dedicated to architecture, design and art. He has designed countless art, design and architecture exhibitions over the years, both in Italy and abroad, among the latest ones we can mention the exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan dedicated to Giotto's masterpieces. In 2015 the Milan Triennale awarded him with the Gold Medal for Career in Architecture and in 2017 they dedicated a retrospective exhibition to him. Since 1991 he is Royal Honorary Designer of RDI (Royal Designer for Industry).
BREAK Armchair by Cassina
Mario Bellini was born in 1935 and attended the Polytechnic of Milan. He graduated at the age of 24 and took up his first job: the post of design director at La Rinascente, an influential chain of Italian department stores which was looking for someone to design furniture, furnishings and packaging.
In 1962 Matio Bellini won his first Compasso d’Oro, one of the most prestigious and old industrial design awards in Europe.
LE BAMBOLE '07 Armchair by B&B Italia
Mario Bellini designed furniture and lighting for a number of famous Italian brands such as Flos, Artemide, Vitra, B&B and Cassina. One of his creations was the famous Cab 412 chair, designed in 1977, of which more than 500,000 pieces have been sold around the world.
"To be an architect or designer, you need a visual art attitude, where you have to be able to draw and be interested in things such as music, art and literature. If you don't have it, don't enter the profession. You have to be born with it." Mario Bellini
GRANDPIANO Bed by Flou