Published: February 22, 2019

Post honoring Alessandro Mendini: biography and major projects of the designer

February 18, Alessandro Mendini passed away. Nonconformist, without whom modern Italian design is unthinkable, an architect who created many bright projects, an editor who turned his publications into the mouthpieces of "new design".

We are telling the story of a man who devoted his whole life to creativity.

Alessandro was born 87 years ago in Milan. I also received a degree in architecture and began my career in the office of Marcello Nizzoli. The young designer immediately showed himself as a devotee of a radical direction and in the early 1970s was already recognized by the professionals of the architectural community.

At this time, Alessandro becomes the editor of Casabella magazine and turns it into a publication on the architecture and design of the avant-garde. Around him begin to unite members of various groups of radical design, including Ettore Sottsass, Franco Raji, Paolo Nava. Thus, a separate school Global Tools was created, one of the founders of which was Mendini himself.

Having survived the peak of the heyday of radical design, Global Tools fell apart, but paved the way for the emergence of new groups - "Memphis" and "Alchemy" (in the latter Mendini became the leader). Proponents of the direction opposed the "consumer" design and boldly treated with form and color. In 1978, for "Alchemy", Alessandro created the Proust chair, which became an icon of design.

In 1977, Alessandro founded Modo magazine, and three years later he became the editor-in-chief of the legendary magazine Joe Ponti Domus. Both editions in his hands turn into horns of "new design".

Since 1982, Mendini begins to cooperate with the company Zanotta, and later designs several offices of the Swatch company, and also creates for them models of Cosmesis and Metroscape watches. In 1983, he also became a professor at the Graduate School of Applied Arts in Vienna. In the mid-1980s, due to the crisis in the "new design", Alessandro reduces his public activities, in 1985 he completely leaves Domus and returns to work as the inspirer and editor of Ollo magazine.

Around the same time, Mendini begins to be interested in architecture and opens the studio Atelier Mendini with his brother. Their most exciting projects are the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, the Paradise Tower memorial in Hiroshima and the Casa Della Felicita for Alberto Alessi.

Mendini was talented in all areas, but still chose the design. In 2014, in an interview, we asked him why, and Alessandro replied: "I will have time to be an artist in my next life."
Proust chair

1993 year

In 1978, Alessandro invented the Proust chair. He took the model of the XVIII century in the Baroque style as a basis, and for the upholstery he used colorful motifs of the paintings of the impressionist Paul Signac. Despite the ironic message, it was taken seriously and began to sell successfully. In 1993, the armchair was republished by Cappellini in two colors and with a geometric pattern, in 2011 several plastic models were released by Magis, and in 2014, Robot City presented a version of a single piece of marble.
Corkscrew collection for Alessi

One corkscrew was made in the form of a graceful female figure and was named Anna G. in honor of colleague Mendini Anna Gili. Another - became the embodiment of the designer himself and was named Alessandro M. This pair of corkscrews has become one of the most recognizable in the world of modern design.
Anna G. and Alessandro M. Corkscrews, painted as superheroes and released in a limited edition, Alessi, 2004.Anna G. and Alessandro M. Corkscrews, painted as superheroes and released in a limited edition, Alessi, 2004.
Groninger Museum


The project of an art museum in the city of Groningen in the north of the Netherlands was developed by Alessandro with Philippe Starck and Coop Himmelb (l) au. The modern postmodern building consists of three main pavilions, above which stands a bright yellow tower.
Sofa K2

For the Brazilian brand A Lot of Brasil, Alessandro Mendini invented the sofa K2. This is a new interpretation of the classic Kandissi Sofa, which the maestro created back in 1979. The designer slightly changed the forms and proportions and varied the colors.
Table lamp "Cosmic amulet"

year 2013

The lamp consists of three rings, symbolizing the unity of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth. A thin halo of LEDs evenly distributes the light and thus protects the eyes. The design has no wires and springs, which allows you to focus on color and geometry.

By WuDong,  


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