I believe less is more. I think that this is the proper way to understand our work.Winner of numerous Golden Compass awards, and a so-called prophet of Italian Design, Vico Magistretti (1920 – 2006), was an artistic phenomenon. Applying his great talent, which was developed from his longstanding experience with architecture and manufacturing, Vico was one of Wiener GTV Design’s most notable designers.
His work as an architect was almost totally focused on the issue of housing and living from the 1960s onwards, during which he developed his own extremely expressive idiom, which, though heavily criticised, made a lasting impression on the architectural scene.
Reflecting his keen attentiveness to the issue of prefabrications and urban layouts, his many architectural works mark him as a true icon of Milanese rationalism.
Very active in the design field, Magistetti was involved in the founding and creation of the Industrial Design Association in 1956, in addition to becoming a notable member of the Academy of San Luca in Roma and the Royal College of Art in London.
I believe that work is always conditioned by reality. This means that there is no excuse for designing ugly things.Throughout his career many of his creations became iconic within the industry and, to this day, serve to enrich the history of design; a fact supported by his numerous awards and prizes from around the globe — including the Gold Medal of the Chartered Society of Industrial Artists & Designers in 1986.
Magistretti was one of the founding fathers of so-called Italian Design, a phenomenon which he himself described as “miraculous” and which only happened thanks to the coming together of two key players: architects and manufacturers.
He began working with some exceptional manufacturers from the end of the 1960s, including Artemide, Cassina and Oluce, designing objects for them which are still considered “classics” of modern-day production.
I never like to go back to work I’ve already completed, ever… sort of like how the guilty person should never go back to the scene of the crime.The 70’s saw Magistretti’s architectural enterprises increasingly backed up by his work as a designer. Magistretti’s first product dates back to 1960: the Carimate chair, which was designed to decorate a golf club he had designed in the same year, and brought into production by Cassina.
In the subsequent years, he proceeded design numerous other objects for the same company, notably including the Maralunga sofa (a defining piece in the 70’s era of furniture design, and one of his most recognisable products), which won a Golden Compass Award in 1979.
To celebrate his influence on the world of design, an exhibition organised by Fondazione Schiffini and entitled “Vico Magistretti: Il design dagli anni ’50 ad oggi” opened in Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale in 2003. In 2005, he was awarded the special prize “Abitare il tempo”. Further, his design works are displayed in the MoMA permanent collection in New York, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Die Neue Sammlung Museum in Munich, and numerous other museums in America and Europe.
After he passed away in September of 2006, his studio, where Fondazione studio Museo Vico Magistretti is located, was converted into a museum devoted to the study and promotion of his work. He will forever be remembered as one of the great minds of architecture and design.
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