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Enzo Mari featured image
Enzo Mari featured an image

Inventor of commonplace items whose radical politics were incorporated into their creations

Enzo Mari (1932 – 2020) was an Italian modernist and furniture designer who lived from 1932 to 2020.

Education

Mari was born in Novara, Italy, and from 1952 to 1956, he attended the Brera Academy in Milan, Italy.

Biography

In 1956, he became interested in design, particularly books and children’s games. In 1957, he began working for Danese, for whom some of his designs and ideas for games and puzzles, including the 1957 wooden child’s puzzle, were realised.

Danese created his first plastic experimental objects in 1959, including the 1962 cylindrical umbrella stand in P.V.C. and the 1969 reversible Vase 3087 in A.B.S. plastic. In 1963, he became a member of the Nuove Tendenze movement. Most of his Danese designs were in plastic and intended for the table.

Between 1963 and 1966, he taught design methodology and graphics at Milan’s Scuola Umanitaria. In 1970, he taught at Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. In 1972, he studied at the Universita di Parma’s Instituto di Storia dell’Arte, the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara, and the Politecnico di Milano’s Facolta di Architettura.

He began working with Elio Mari in 1965. In 1970, Enzo Mari’s design and research theories were published in his book Funzione della ricerca estetica.

Works

  • 3089 A.B.C. Graduating Table Bowls 1969
  • He collaborated with Elio Mari on the 1972 bookcase produced by Fabina; 
  • the 1974 grid-pattern Quaderna table and 
  • the 1979 Delfina chair produced by Driade; 
  • the 1973 Day-Night; 
  • the 1979 Elementare wall tiles by Gabbianelli; and 
  • the 1985 Tonietta chair produced by Zanotta. 
  • Anonima Castelli, Artemide, Driade, Editore Boringhieri, Gabbianelli, Gavina-Knoll, ICF, De Padova, La Rinascente-Upim, Olivetti, Simon International, and Le Creuset were among his clients. 

He was the president of ADI from 1976 to 1979. (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale).

Exhibitions

  • Instead of creating an environment for the 1972 exhibition ‘Italy: The New Domestic Landscape’ at the New York Museum of Modern Art, he provided an ‘anti-design statement. 
  • Premio Compasso d’Oro in 1967 for his design research, 
  • 1979 for his Delfina chair by Driade, and 1987 for his Delfina chair by Driade. 
  • His work was featured in the 1972 exhibition ‘Design a Plastickรฉ Hmoty’ at the Umรฉleckoprumyslovรฉ Muzeum in Prague, 
  • the 1983โ€”84 exhibition ‘Design Since 1945 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and 
  • the 1991 exhibition ‘Mobili Italiani 1961โ€”1991: Le Varie Eta dei linguaggi’ in Milan.

Enzo Mari on Amazon

Enzo Mari in the news

DIY chair designed for kids, inspired by Enzo Mari

Conceived for kids between eight and ten, Pono is a DIY chair that pupils can assemble at the start of the school year and take apart before summer vacation, “handing it down” to others. Inspired by Steiner’s approach, Alessandro Simone’s chair resulted from a course at ECAL in Lausanne, which he attended in 2020.

Le Stanze Silkscreen Print by Enzo Mari

When designing this silkscreen print Enzo Mari actualized a way to represent volumes through the sequence of rigorous, squared elements. It combines eight br…

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The Design Encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

McDermott, C. (1999). Modern design: classics of our time. Carlton Books.

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