Achille Castiglioni

The Achille Castiglioni Story

Achille Castiglioni had a unique way of looking at things. As a product designer, he was often inspired by materials that others would consider mundane and found unique functions for them. The Castiglioni design team of Achille and his brothers, Livio and Pier Giacomo, worked from the viewpoint that design must restructure an object's function, form and production process. They applied this philosophy to every piece that they produced.

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The design process began with the designer's discovery of an item's principal design component. From there, the process was, as stated simply by Achille, "Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means."

Pieces like the Mezzadro stool (which uses a tractor seat) and the Sella chair (bicycle seat) cemented the Castiglioni brothers' transformative style. Livio left in 1952, but the remaining Castiglioni brothers continued to design together through the '50s and well into the '60s. In addition to unique seating, they created such iconic pieces as the Taccia Table Lamp in 1958 and the far-reaching Arco Lamp in 1962, both for Flos Lighting.

Why We Love Achille Castiglioni

After Pier Giacomo passed away in 1968, Achille continued to design based on their original tenets. From 1969, he also taught as professor of industrial design and chair of the Faculty of Architecture in Turin until 1980 and then taught at the Polytechnic of Milan until 1993, inspiring a whole new generation of designers to be creative and find beauty and inspiration in ordinary things.

Noteworthy Products from Castiglioni

In addition to the Taccia and Arco lamps, which are still in production, another of the Achille Castiglioni designs for Flos includes the more recent Fuscia pendant collection (designed in 1996). When taken together, all such fixtures showcase Castiglioni's design range and unique eye.

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Achille Castiglioni