Ignazio Gardella began working on architectural projects in Alessandria in 1929, including the Dispensario Antitubercolare (1929-1930), which is regarded as an example of Italian Rationalism, and the Laboratorio Provinciale di Igiene. He was laying the groundwork for his future career as an architect. He was recognised for his work in the Rogers editorial group’s journal “Casabella,” famed for its Italian architecture creativity.
Despite being one of the most prominent proponents of the style, Gardella chose to break free from Rationalism’s creative limits. To that goal, he travelled to many countries to study different techniques. He began by travelling to Germany, where he attended the Frankfurt School and became acquainted with German architecture. In 1938, he travelled to Finland to see Ilmari Tapiovaara’s mentor, designer Alvar Aalto. That same year, he returned to Italy with a completely new design concept. He designed the Milan-Green concept, which became the foundation for the AR Plan to reconstruct the city following WWII.
Gardella and a group of young architects from Milan created the Studi Architettura Movement in 1945 after WWII, intending to outline the foundations of Italian Rationalism. From building design to university lectures, the group championed postwar Italian architecture. Gardella began teaching at the IUAV in Venice in 1947 and was promoted to a chaired position in 1962.
Throughout the 1950s, Gardella was involved in key initiatives that helped to rebuild Italy. The Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan (1953), the Casa delle Zattere in Venice (1958), and the Olivetti canteen in Ivrea are among them (1958). He began working on increasingly difficult projects that necessitated superior architectural and engineering skills in the years that followed. Among the most notable examples are the Alfa Romeo offices in Arese (1972), the new headquarters of the Faculty of Architecture in Genoa (1989), and the Palace of Justice in La Spezia (1994).
Ignazio Gardella was critical of his work and frequently wished to break free from Rationalism’s canons. Sensitivity and a good eye, he thought, were the tools for creating forms and thicknesses. This defiance led to his Digamma armchair, which was first published in 1957 by Dino Gavina and is presently published by Santa & Cole. With a rationalist body (seat and back) and ultra-rational articulations (arms and legs), the Digamma armchair (1957) is the clearest manifestation of Gardella’s effort to overcome Rationalism: it is a little masterpiece of great aesthetic and formal worth.
The President of the Italian Republic awarded Ignazio Gardella the Medaglia d’oro ai benemeriti della scienza e della culture in 1996. Gardella’s career in architecture and design has been one of national renewal, as he is voracious and determined. Jacopo Gardella, his son, became an architect as well.
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Ignazio Gardella – Biography | Santa & Cole. https://www.santacole.com/en/biographies/?ignazio-gardella
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Burigana, A., & Ciampi, M. (2006). Italian designers at home. Seagull Books.
Calefato, P. (2021). Fashion as Cultural Translation: Signs, Images, Narratives. United Kingdom: Anthem Press.
Celant, G., & Strauss, C. (2020). Radical: Italian Design 1965-1985: The Dennis Freedman Collection. The Museum of Fine Arts.
Ciampi, M., Burigana, A. (2006). Italian Designers at Home. United Kingdom: Antique Collectors Club Limited.
Gnoli, S., Bowles, H. (2020). The World of Federico Forquet: Italian Fashion, Interiors, Gardens. United States: Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated.
Hunt, J. D. (Ed.). (1996). The Italian Garden: Art, Design and Culture. Cambridge University Press.
Lazzaro, C., & Lieberman, R. (1990). The Italian Renaissance garden: from the conventions of planting, design, and ornament to the grand gardens of sixteenth-century Central Italy (p. 826). New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Lees-Maffei, G., & Fallan, K. (2014). Made in Italy rethinking a century of Italian design. Bloomsbury.
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Tacchini aspires to improve the quality of home and public spaces with its furniture. As a result, Tacchini is always analysing and improving its products and services with zeal, inventiveness, and accountability.
Sergio Asti (1926 – 2021) Italian Designer and Architect
Asti was born in the city of Milan. In 1956, he founded his design firm after graduating from the Polytechnic University of Milan with a degree in architecture. He was one of the founding members of the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale in the same year.
Gae Aulenti (1927 – 2012) Italian architect and designer
Gaetana Aulenti (Gae, as she was known, is pronounced similarly to “guy”) was born in Palazzolo dello Stella (Friuli) and studied architecture at the Milan School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University, graduating in 1954 as one of two women in a class of 20.
Paolo Pallucco (b. 1952) Italian architect, furniture designer & Manufacturer
He was born and active in Lissone. He founded Pallucco an awarding winning design firm.
Massimo Morozzi (b. 1941) Italian architect and designer
He created Archizoom Associati in 1968 with Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, and Paolo Deganello, which developed industrial and architectural designs and urban planning and was a notable Italian architecture practice until 1972.
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