Andrea Branzi (1938 – ) Italian furniture designer

Judolia bench (1989) by Andrea Branzi
Judolia bench (1989) by Andrea Branzi

Andrea Branzi is an Italian architect and designer who was born in Florence. He currently lives and works in Milan. He was a professor and chairman of the Polytechnic University of Milan’s School of Interior Design until 2009.

Biography

His theoretical furniture is well-known. He formed Archizoom Associati, an avant-garde group in Florence, in 1966 (with Paolo Deganello and others) that brought the irony of 1960s Anti-Design to furniture design.

He worked for the CDM (Consulenti Design Milano) company. He co-authored the two-volume Decorattivo 1 and 2 on environmental design.

In 1973, he founded his studio in Milan.

He took part in Studio Alchimia’s exhibitions in the early 1980s, a proto-Memphis collective exploring metaphysical dimensions of architecture.

In Casabella, he wrote about avant-garde architecture from 1972 to 1975.

Labrador sauce plate designed by Andrea Branzi for Memphis Milano, circa 1982.
Labrador sauce plate designed by Andrea Branzi for Memphis Milano, circa 1982.

From 1983 to 1987, he was managing editor of Mode and, for a time, president of Domus; he co-organized and co-wrote the catalogue for the 1977 ‘Il design italiano degli anni 50,’ the first major retrospective exhibition of Italian postwar design, at Naviglio, Milan.

From 1982 to 1983, he was a professor at the Universita di Palermo’s Instituto del Disegno Industriale, the architecture school. He taught at universities and schools in Italy, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States as a visiting professor and lecturer.

Books

Domus Academy, Milan, educational director since 1983. Domestic Animals (1987) is his attempt to create a new relationship between man and his belongings. He argues that a sofa or a light fixture can be thought of as a household pet.

Other books by him include The Colors of Energy (1975), Pre-Synthetic Colors (1976), Environmental Colors (1977), Moderno—Postmoderno—Millennario (1980), Good and the Metropolis, La Casa Calda: Esperienze del Nuovo Disegno Italiano (1982), and (with Michele De Lucci) Il Concept Italiano degli anni 50. (1979). See Amazon for more books by Andrea Branzi.

Memphis

Memphis commissions included the 1982 Gritti bookcase, Century divan, and silver sauce boat, the 1983 Beach chaise longue, the 1985 Magnolia bookcase, the 1987 Andrea chaise longue, and the 1988 Foglia electro-luminescent wall lamp. Other designs included Rossi e Arcandi’s 1982 Labrador silver sauce dish, Zabro’s 1985 Animali Domestici seating, Zanotta’s 1986 Berlino couch, Zabro’s 1986 Frande Tapetto Ibrido chairs, and Zanotta’s 1989 Iudola desk.

Gritti bookcase, Italy (1981) designed by Andrea Branzi
Gritti bookcase, Italy (1981) designed by Andrea Branzi
Standing Lamp by Andrea Branzi in Japanese Rice Paper, Bamboo, Belgian Bluestone
Standing Lamp by Andrea Branzi in Japanese Rice Paper, Bamboo, Belgian Bluestone
Berlino sofa, ca. 1986 designed by Andrea Branzi (artnet)
Berlino sofa, ca. 1986 designed by Andrea Branzi (artnet)

Exhibitions

He took part in the Triennali di Milano in 1968 (XIV), 1979 (XVI), and 1983 (XVII), serving as general coordinator for the (XV) session, as well as the Biennali di Venezia in 1976, 1978, and 1980.

In 1981, he took part in Memphis’ first show. Premi Compasso d’Oro in 1979 (primary concept research) and 1987. Zanotta’s Iudola bench debuted at the 1989 Salone del Mobile in Milan. Animali Domestici debuted at the 1991 Milan exhibition “Mobili Italiani 1961-1991: Le Varie Eta dei Linguaggi.” Work has been seen at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Lijbanam Centrum in Rotterdam, the CAYC in Buenos Aires, the MusĂ©e St. Pierre in Lyons, and the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, as well as in several group exhibits.

Sources

Andrea Branzi | Artnet. http://www.artnet.com/artists/andrea-branzi/

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

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