Alberto Rosselli (1921-76) Italian architect and industrial designer. He was born in Palermo. He was professionally active in Milan. 

Alberto Rosselli,(1921-76) Italian architect and industrial designer
Alberto Rosselli,(1921-76) Italian architect and industrial designer

Education

1938-39, he studied engineering.

1945-47, architecture. Politecnico di Milano. 

Biography

In 1950, Rosselli, Gio Ponti and Antonio Fornaroli established the architecture and design firm Studio PFR. They produced notable structures, including the 1956 Pirelli tower in Milan. 

Active concurrently, in 1955, he opened his own office in Milan. He designed transportation for Fiat-Orlandi, appliances, furniture for Arflex, Bonacina, Kartell, and Saporiti, electric clocks and domestic appliances, bathroom fixtures, lighting for Fontana Arte, metalwork, glassware for Salviati, and ceramics for Cesame. 

Academia

  • 1963-76, he taught industrial design, Politecnico di Milano; 
  • in 1956, was president of ADI (Associazione per ii Disegno lndustriale); 
  • 1961-63, was vice-president of ICSID; and, 
  • In 1963. became an industrial design assistant professor at the Politecnico di Milano. 

In 1957, he developed an interest in plastics, his first design in the medium being a bathroom unit for Montecatini. 

Table with a shelf in plastic by Alberto Roselli
Table with a shelf in plastic by Alberto Roselli

He was a member of the committee of the 1968 (XIV) Triennale di Milano and a founder of the journal Stile Industria, where he was editor 1953-63. 

One of his best-known designs, the colourful and lightweight 1970 one-piece fibreglass Jumbo Chair, was produced 1970-78 by Saporiti; it looked like a shoe in silhouette and was related to his 1969 Moby Dick chaise longue. 

Vintage armchair Jumbo fibreglass designed by Alberto Rosselli
Vintage armchair Jumbo fibreglass designed by Alberto Rosselli
Vintage Confidential Leather Sofa by Alberto Rosselli for Saporiti Italia
Vintage Confidential Leather Sofa by Alberto Rosselli for Saporiti Italia

His architectural works included the Corriere della Sera newspaper building. 

Corriere della Sera newspaper building designed by Alberto Rosselli
Corriere della Sera newspaper building designed by Alberto Rosselli

Recognition

  • He received gold medals in 1954 (X), 1957 (XI), and 1960 (XII) Triennali di Milano. 
  • The Jumbo Chair was shown at the 1967 Milano International Furniture Exhibition, the 1970 ‘Modern Chairs 1918-1970’ exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, and the 1983-84 ‘Design Since 1945’ exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • He received 1957 Compasso d’Oro for his Meteor motor-coach for Fiat-Orlandi. 

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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