Alessandro Mendini (b.1931) played an important part in the development of Italian, Postmodern, and Radical design. He was co-founder of Studio Alchymia (with Alessandro and Adriana Guernero) in 1976. He was awarded several international prizes, including the Compasso d’Oro in 1979, 1981, and 2014. In 2011, he was awarded with the title Doctor Honoris Causa of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan.
The Studio Alchimia in Milan was founded in 1976 and exhibited its first collection in 1979. Alessandro Mendini’s Proust armchair is one of the most unusual pieces from the Bau.Haus collection. It was made in a small number and individually painted to express the collective’s unease with mass production.
He was an apprentice in the studio of Giovan Battista Gianotti, painter, furniture designer, and decorator; in 1921, opened Bot- tega di Pietro Chiesa, Milan; in 1927, (with Gio Ponti, Michele Marelli, Tomaso Buzzi, Emilio Lancia, and Paolo Venini) founded Il Labirinto, which produced high-quality glassware.
He worked for various firms in Italy and Yugoslavia. He received a patent for a bookcase-component system. Clients included Ferro & Lazzarini (glassware) and Italianline. He was best known for his lighting in glass and a mushroom-shaped table lamp in marble; became a member of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale); was author of Venini Glass (1990) and the manager of an art auction house.
He worked in the family firm Ceramica Franco Pozzi in Gallarate from 1951 and redesigned its traditional products in an award-winning Functional style. His widely published 1970 Compact stacking coffee service was designed for machine production in three sizes. He set up his design practice, where clients included Riedel, Rossi, Guzzini, Pierre Cardin, Rosenthal, Norex, La Rinascente department store, and Alitalia.
From cl1880, Zen directed the most crucial furniture workshop in Milan. He was active in the stile floreale, continued after the 1902 Turin ‘Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna’ to be known for his Art Nouveau and Symbolist motifs. He was not a designer himself but instead a factory owner and manager. From 1898, his firm was associated with Haas of Vienna, whose designers included Otto Eckmann.
From 1977 to 1983, he worked as the chief editor of the design magazine Modo and as a consultant for the fashion magazine Donna. She designed interiors for Driade, Gianfranco Ferré, Montres and GFF Duty Free, Fontana Arte, Granciclismo sports machines, and Morassutti/Metropolis, as well as serving as an image and product consultant for the Croff/Rinascente chain.
She began her professional career in 1967; became a member of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale); 1967—74, she collaborated with architect and designer Cini Boeri. In 1974, she set up her studio in Milan; participated in the planning of the 1971 industrial design exhibition of ADI at the Design Centre, Brussels.