Pier Giacomo Castiglioni- Italian Architect and Designer (1913- 1968)

One of the most important industrial designers of Italy
Born in Milan in 1913. He graduated in architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan where he later would teach architectural composition. He started working with his brothers Achille and Livio immediately after the war focussing their attention mainly on city planning, architecture and particularly on design. Together with Achille Castiglioni, he received various acknowledgements such as the permanent exhibition of six of their works at the Museum of Modern Art of New York and won five editions of the Compasso d’Oro award.

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Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, 1913- 1968
Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, 1913- 1968

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All three Castiglioni brothers were interested in both technology and art. Livio left the joint practice in 1952 to go his own way.
Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1913- 1968) is regarded as the intellectual equal of his brother Achille. Until his untimely death in 1968, Pier Giacomo collaborated with Achille on numerous designer objects. 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. Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni showed many of their designs, including for the first time their “readymades“.

Info source: http://www.pier-giacomo-castiglioni.com

Luminator lamp, 1955
Luminator lamp, 1955

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Which was the interests of Castiglioni?

Their interests included Town Planning, Architecture and Design, and they had varied and intensive professional activities, actively participating in international cultural life: congresses, conferences and round tables, with particular regard to Industrial Design. In 1956, he was one of the founders of the ADI (Association of Industrial Design). His varied interests also brought Pier Giacomo Castiglioni into the field of teaching. From 1958 to 1968, he was professor of ‘Architectonic Composition’ in the Faculty of Architecture, at the Polytechnic University of Milan. He received numerous awards, including: five Compasso d’Oro awards, Gran Premi of the Milan Triennale, he won many international competitions, and many of his works are exhibited in Museums all over the world, including in MoMA in New York. He is well known on an international level, for his objects in the field of lighting and furnishing, as well as for his spectacular exhibition installations. He died in Milan in 1968.

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Taraxacum, 1960
Taraxacum, 1960

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What produced Pier Giacomo Castiglioni?

Pier Giacomo collaborated with Achille on numerous designer objects. 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. Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni showed many of their designs, including for the first time their “readymades“. “Mezzadro“, a stool consisting of a tractor seat mounted on a substructure and “Sella“, a telephone stool with a bicycle saddle as a seat were not made until many years later, by Zanotta.
The two brothers were particularly successful with the lighting they designed for Arredoluce, Flos, and Artemide. They playfully explored new possibilities for form, linking technical innovation and Minimalist economy of means to produce highly functional objects which were just as aesthetically satisfying as they were practical. In 1955 the Castiglionis designed “Luminator” for Arredoluce; their “Taraxacum” hanging lamp dates from 1960 and the hanging lamp “Splügen Bräu” for Flos was launched in 1961. Another Castiglioni design for Flos was the 1962 die lamp “Arco“, which links the qualities of floor and hanging lamps.

Info source: http://www.pier-giacomo-castiglioni.com

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