Achille Castiglioni (Milan 1918-2002)

"Start from scratch. Stick to common sense." Achille Castiglioni’s highly individual work still embodies his ironic humor, lively sense of paradox, and thoughtful concern for formal balance. During his long career, Castiglioni has been a professor of interior and industrial design at both the Politecnico di Torino and Politecnico di Milano and has been honored with eight Compassod'Oro awards. Castiglioni is one of the most important and complex figures in Italian design of the 20th century and he has mentored some of the most salient of the modern designers, including Marcello Ziliani. Castiglioni, like other postwar designers, was a product of the Italian artisan tradition of expert craftsmanship and a firmly entrenched passion for sensual, expressive forms. Castiglioni took an active part in Italy's postwar design renaissance. With no money for large architectural projects, designers like Castiglioni turned their attention to small objects like furniture, tableware, lighting, radios, typewriters and office equipment. One of the most important industrial designers of the 20th century, Castiglioni produced more than 150 products during his career and forged lasting relationships with Italian manufacturers. Inspired by everyday things, Castiglioni's designs made use of ordinary materials in unique and imaginative ways.Castiglioni'shad a knack for striking perfect compositional balance in using the minimal amount of materials to maximum effect. Castiglioni possessed a creativity and adaptability that gave birth to an array of stylistically differing objects. One of his favorite design approaches was to place a familiar form in an unexpected context – a tractor seat atop a stool, an automobile headlight reflector as a table lamp.