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Achille Castiglioni

The life and career of Achille Castiglioni, bears witness to the preeminence of Italian postwar design and its relationships with architecture on one hand and industry on the other. Like many of his compatriots, it is via architecture that Achille Castiglioni came to design and it is through direct relations with industry that he was able to realize his daily-use objects that have accompanied the modern way of life.

Born February 16, 1918, Achille Castiglioni graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1944 and joined the architecture firm that his brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo created in 1938. Beginning in 1952, he worked with Pier Giacomo until his death in 1968. But in 1940, when design was introduced at the Milan Trienniale, the Castiglionis created a sensation with a radio set called the Phonola, and their participation in these new forms would be an institution from that point forward.

However, it was Castiglioni's light fixture designs are what truly established his career:

Arco (1962), which, thanks to a block-marble counterweight, suspends a sphere of metal above a table, allowing the traditional ceiling light to be forgotten; the spotlight at the end of a tube on a simple stand. 

Luminator, (1955); the suspension of a globe over a circle of opaline

Snoopy Lamp, (1967) was a table lamp, indeed inspired by the cartoon character, also had a marble base, which stabilized the egg-shaped metal and glass shade.

The Castiglioni's analyzed the roles and decided, with a touch of mockery, to present them in a new way.

The opposite of the desire to establish his signature, the creative path of Achille Castiglioni is to consider the object as a field of exploration and to invent a new way to activate its elements. The style exists, but it is neither intentional nor ostentatious — it is a result.

During his long career, Castiglioni he has been a professor of interior and industrial design at both the Politecnico di Torino and Politecnio di Milano. His designs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (14 objects) and other museums worldwide. Achille Castiglioni is one of the most important and complex figures in Italian design of the 20th century, and the influence of his legacy will continue.