Alessandro Mendini (1931-2019)

“I like irony, I like to play a game, I like to stay far away from rhetoric: that’s the reason why I let the objects I design express all these ideas, turning them into a sort of toys you can use even though you’ve grown up.” Alessandro Mendini, Italian designer and architect

Alessandro Mendini

Image source: by Atelier Mendini

About his life

Alessandro Mendini was born in Milan in 1931. An architect, designer, journalist, and publisher, Mendini has helped establish, via his numerous works in equally numerous fields, the Italian design sensibility on an international scale—with a particular focus on neo-modern, avant-garde sensibilities, as well as creating a cross-over between art, design and architecture.

Alessandro Mendini with Amuleto Lamp for Ramun

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Mendini’s work encompasses, among others, the fields of graphics, furniture, interiors, architecture, stage design, writing, and painting; he acted as the publisher of the popular magazines Casabella (1970-76), Modo, and Domus (each 1979-85) as well. In 1979, he joined Ettore Sottsass and Michele De Lucchi as a partner at Studio Alchimia before he cofounded Domus Academy in 1982.

Alessandro Mendini, le fauteuil Proust

Image source: by Rob de Vries,

What are the main features of Mendini’s style?

Alessandro Mendini’s work can be safely categorized as contemporary, in no small part due to its use of bright colors and non-traditional shapes, meant as an exploration of how one discipline can be affected by another.

Abitare il Tempo 2009 (pt.II)
Miniature of Alessandro Mndini’s “Proust” armchair

Image source: by rrenzoo

Much of Mendini’s artistic approach is aimed at injecting new meaning or new perspective into everyday objects, such as furniture or homewares, a method that the Italian artist refers to as “re-design”, what was a notable departure from classic Italian styles at the time; due to this, Mendini is often credited with helping reform the Italian art, design and architecture movements in the 1980s.

File:Alessandro mendini per alessi spa., cavatappi alessandro m. e anna g., 2003.jpg
by Alessandro mendini for Alessi ,2003

Images source:,_cavatappi_alessandro_m._e_anna_g.,_2003.jpg

Exposition “Mondo Mendini” Groninger Museum

Images source: by Rob de Vries,

File:Alessandro mendini per zabro-zanotta, sedia-tavolo zabro, 1984 (zanotta).jpg
Alessandro mendini for Zabro-zanotta,1984.chair and table Zabro- Triennale Design Museum

Images source: by Sailko

Selected works and projects

  • Triennale di Milano – Branch in Incheon (Korea), 2009
  •  Byblos Art Hotel-Villa Amistà, Verona (Italy), 2005
  • Swimming and sports centre, Trieste (Italy), 2004
  • Galleria Mendini, Lörrach (Germany), 2004
  • Dinosaur – Dinosaur Museum, Katsuyama (Japan), 2000
  • Naples metro system – Santa Rosa/Materdei/Università stations, Naples (Italy), 2000-2009
  • Town Hall – redevelopment of the grounds, Naples (Italy), 1999
  • Luxo – Stardust, 1998
  • Fondazione Maghetti – redevelopment of a district in Lugano (Switzerland), 1998
  • Complex in Via della Bicchieraia, Arezzo (Italy), 1997
  • Alessi – Anna G collection, 1994-2004
  • Alessi offices, Omegna (Italy), 1993
  • Busstop Hannover – Steintor stop, Hannover (Germany), 1992
  • Swatch (Spiritello, Cosmesis, Metroscape, Lots of Dots, Olimpico), 1990-1994
  • Paradise Tower, Hiroshima (Japan), 1988
  •  Groninger Museum, Groninger (The Netherlands), 1988-1994
  • Clock Tower, Gibellina (Italy), 1987
  • Banal Object, Biennale di Venezia, 1980
  • Proust armchair, 1978
  • Kandissi sofa, 1978
20041226 Groningen - Museum
Groninger Museum, Groninger (The Netherlands), 1988-1994-by Alessandro Mendini

Image source: by Sjaak Kempe

'Salvator Rosa' station of Naples Underground (2001, architect Alessandro Mendini, born in Milan 1931) and decorated mansions
Naples metro system – Santa Rosa/Materdei/Università stations, Naples (Italy), 2000-2009

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