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Marco Zanuso - architect and designer

Marco Zanuso

architect - designer

Marco Zanuso was part of a group of industrial designers based in the Italian city of Milan, experimenting with the idea of Good Design, and gave a valuable contribution to the development of the fundamental ideas of the movement.

He studied architecture at the Milan Polytechnic, and started his own design office in 1945. He worked at the architecture magazine Domus in the period between 1947 and 1949, and at Casabella where he was editor during the period between 1952 and 1956.

He was professor of architecture, design and town planning in the period between 1945 and 1990, and was one of the founding members of the Italian industrial design organisation ADI in 1956.

One of the central points of interest of his career in industrial design was the cost accessibility of mass produced products. His work in this field appeared at the Low-Cost Furniture competition sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art of New York MoMA in 1948.

In 1948 the manufacturing company Pirelli opened a new division, Arflex, to design seating with foam rubber upholstery and asked Zanuso to produce their first models. He created Antropus Chair which was produced in 1949, and Lady Chair, which won the first prize at the 1951 Milan Triennial.

In 1957 he became work partner of the designer Richard Sapper. One of their first projects was a small, stackable chair, in 1961, in non-reinforced plastic. This piece was light, functional, playful, and useful. It was produced in many different colours, and it was among the designs promoting the use of plastic for home and business furniture.

In 1959 Marco Zanuso worked for the Italian electronics manufacturer Brionvega. With Richard Sapper he designed a series of radios and televisions with a particularly successful design which were introduced in the market in the period around 1960, and in the period around 2000 were incremented with some more items.

In 1963 he designed Villa Shapiro, and in 1964 the experimental space of Via Laveno.

Working with Richard Sapper in 1972 he created a series of dwellings for the New Domestic Landscape show at the US museum of modern art MoMA.

related subjects:


Industrial Design

Italian Design