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Alessandro Mendini

Italian, b. 1931

Born in 1931, his inclination as an architect and a designer is mainly about neo-modern and contemporary design; his design fixations are furniture and environments. In the past, he directed magazines such as Casabella, Modo and Domus; many essays have been published in different languages about his work and his Atelier Mendini. For Superego Editions, Alessi, Philips, Swarovski and Swatch he designed items that are now considered icons of the worldwide contemporary design overview.

His design has been characterized by his strong interest in mixing different cultures and different forms of expression; he creates graphics, furniture, interiors, paintings and architectures and has written several articles and books.

In the seventies he was one of the main personalities of the Radical design movement. In 1979 he joined the Studio Alchimia as a partner and here he worked with Ettore Sottsass and Michele De Lucchi. In 1982 he co-founded Domus Academy, the first postgraduate design school.

His work in product design was influential in the sense that it pushed the boundaries of what products could be. A notable example is his Lassú chair from 1974, a chair built on top of a pyramid structure, which forgoes conventional notions of function. Mendini was addressing the domestic object as a conduit for spirituality, an idea reinforced by his ritualized burning of the chair, photographed for placement on the cover of Casabella in 1975.

He has been awarded several international prizes, including the Compasso d'oro in 1979 and in 1982. He holds an honorary title from the Architectural League of New York as well as the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Republic.

Alessandro Mendini

Products designed by Alessandro Mendini: