Matteo Thun (b.1952) Italian ceramicist and designer

Matteo Thun featured image
Matteo Thun featured image

Matteo Thun (b.1952) is an Italian ceramicist and designer. He was born in Bolanzo and professionally active in Milan. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Thun established himself as a leading Italian industrial designer, working as a consultant to several larger multinationals eager to tap into the emerging markets of younger “lifestyle”-oriented consumers interested in Postmodern products. Arzberg, Flos, Fiorrucci, Rosenthal, Swatch, Villeroy & Boch, and WMF (WĂĽrttembergische Metallwarenfabrik) have been among them.


He studied architecture at UniversitĂ  di Firenze, to 1975. He studies sculpture at the Academy of Oskar Kokoschka, Salzburg; University of California in Los Angeles.


Thun got intimately associated with the path of Italian avant-garde design following his graduation in architecture in Florence in 1975, mainly via his work with the Memphis group and Sottsass Associates from 1981 to 1984, the year he founded his design firm in Milan.

Le Petit Café service for Arzberg (1987), Pao floor and table lamps for Arteluce (1993), and bicycles for Gruppo Srl, a famous Italian specialized manufacturer in the industry, are just a few of his many creations. For WMF, leading German cutlery and household hardware company, he also developed the Tavola tableware line in 1987 and the punk-inspired Hommage à Madonna silverware in 1985–6.

  • Matteo Thun Memphis Tea Pot
  • Nefertiti Teapot Matteo Thun for Memphis-Milano Original, 1980s
  • Tea Set 'Fantasia' by Matteo Thun

Matteo Thun & Partners is a product design, interior design, and architectural firm with two sub-brands: MTLC (Matteo Thun and Luca Colombo) and MTD-R (Matteo Thun and Luca Colombo) (Matteo Thun Design Rodriguez). The former is concerned with product design innovation that embraces natural materials, technology, functionality, and aesthetics for the Italian market, specializing in reclamation, renovation, sustainability, and local materials; the latter is concerned with product design innovation that embraces natural materials, technology, functionality, and aesthetics.

MTD-R is an abbreviated version of MTD- China was a later development, with a Shanghai office in addition to its Milan headquarters, where Thun and Antonio Rodriguez sought to ensure the quality control of Italian creativity and Asian production, aided by a team of Chinese speakers who had been thoroughly trained in Milan before working in Shanghai.


Since their first, the Design of the Year Award Austria (1987), for a signed, limited-edition drinking glass for Campari, Matteo Thun & Partners has won numerous design honours. Other honours include a Red Dot Award (2001) for Zucchetti’s Isy bathroom fittings system, the ADI Design System Award (2003) and Good Design Award (2003) for Catalano’s Samoa washbasin, the Water Innovation Award (2008) for Spumador’s Valverde mineral-water bottle, and the World Travel Award–Leading Europe’s New Hotel (2015) for the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa’s interiors. In addition, Matteo Thun & Partners have won a Red Dot Award in 2006, 2009, and 2015, as well as numerous other notable design honours, including Good Design Awards in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2011, and 2013, and iF Product Design Awards in 2008, 2010, and 2013.


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

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