Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1913 – 1968)

Pier Giacomo Castiglioni is one of the most influential representatives of italian design. He is the second of three Castiglioni brothers. Six of their works can be found at the Museum of Modern Art of New York and won five editions of the Compasso d’Oro Award.

Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier_Giacomo_Castiglioni

About his life

Pier Giacomo Castiglioni  (april 1913 – november 1968) was an italian architect, designer and urban planner. Like his brothers, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni studied architecture at Milan Polytechnic, getting his degree in 1937. in 1938 pier giacomo and his elder brother, Livio, founded a practice in milan, which the youngest brother, Achille, joined in 1944. All three Castiglioni brothers were interested in both technology and art. Livio left the joint practice in 1952 to go his own way. His works are displayed in the most important collections, in the museums from the Moma in New York to the Triennale Design Museum in Milan.

Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.

Image source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/Achille_&_Pier_Giacomo_Castiglioni-d-1091.html

What are the main features of Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s style?

In 1957 the exhibition “Colori e forme nella casa d’oggi” (Colors and Forms in Today’s Home) was mounted at the Villa Olmo in Como, where Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni annoyed specialists with their vision of a modern lifestyle because what they showed was a colorful jumble of styles that incorporated old and new furnishings instead of uniformly styled interiors.

Flos Taccia table lamp
Flos Taccia table lamp

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/ff041a16-b11e-4478-9324-dbb248af6a7d by ninahale

Both Achille and Pier Giacomo were keenly interested in experimenting with new materials and techniques for industrial production. One notable example is “cocoon skin,” a material composed of sprayed polymer plastic fibers that solidified into a flexible membrane; the brothers initially saw a this substance used by the US military, and soon after acquired the patent. They used this resin applied over a steel structure to create the iconic, cocoon-like forms of their Viscontea Lamp(1960), Taraxacum Chandeliers (1960), and Gato Table Lights (1960) for Flos.

Gatto and Gatto Piccolo lamps by Flos.
Gatto and Gatto Piccolo lamps by Flos.

Image source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/lighting-table-lamps-gatto-table-lamp-p-17854.html

Lamp Splügen by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.
Lamp Splügen by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/662ebc09-8f44-44c6-ab24-fe2ccf476cb9

Most famous works

The younger Castiglioni brothers, Pier Giacomo and Achille, worked as a team and soon became an unstoppable design force. So much in sync was their vision that it was impossible to attribute the designs they created together to one or the other.

Flos Snoopy table lamp
Flos Snoopy table lamp, by   Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Flos Snoopy table lamp
Flos Snoopy table lamp

Images source: https://www.finnishdesignshop.com/lighting-table-lamps-table-lamps-snoopy-table-lamp-p-17804.html

While Pier collaborated with his brother on a wide variety of projects, his partnership with Achille was particularly successful so far as their lighting products for companies like FLOS, Arredoluce, and Artemide were concerned.

Arco Floor Lamp
Arco Floor Lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos, 1962

image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arco_(lamp)#/media/File:Arco_lamp_closeup.jpg

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