Franco Albini & Franca Helg

Franco Albini (1905-1977) was a great Italian architect, a leading figure of Rationalism, one of the undisputed fathers of industrial design. His projects, the result of the partnership with Franca Helg (1920-1989), range from large to small scale, from the arrangement of the stations of the Milan Metro line 1 together with graphic designer Bob Noorda, to the realization of urban, building and museum interventions throughout Italy.

In design, Albini and Helg have linked their name to timeless furnishings and accessories, innovative in their design approach and in the choice of materials. Their production represents an internationally recognized cornerstone of the innovation of design culture at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Products by Franco Albini & Franca Helg
Francesco Faccin

Constantly shifting the area of application between industrial production, independent production, community design and gallery work, Francesco Faccin, believes in design without boundaries or limits: “I am interested in design that sparks connections, thought and debate, above all those that are a product of in-depth studies beyond the object itself. Design is a fantastic opportunity to deepen our relationship with the world around us.”

Born in Milan in 1977. In 2004, after a collaboration lasting almost 2 years with Enzo Mari, he began to work with the lute-maker Francesco Rivolta. In 2007 started his own studio in Milan. From 2009 to 2015 he was consultant for Michele De Lucchi. Currently, he leads a course in product design at the Free University of Bolzano, as well as teaching in many other Italian and foreign universities. Italian Fellow at the prestigious American Academy in Rome in 2013. Studio Francesco Faccin collaborates on a regular basis with Italian and international clients such as design galleries (Rossana Orlandi, Nilufar), private companies, public institutions, and NGOs.

Products by Francesco Faccin
Francisco Gomez Paz

Born in Salta in Argentina in 1975, Francisco Gomez Paz moved to Milan after completing studies in Industrial Design at the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. In 2004 he opened his design studio in Milan.

Driven by a curiosity and knowledge of technology and materials, and complimented by his highly experimental hands-on creative process, Francisco Gomez Paz has developed products for a wide range of leading design companies. Together with Luceplan he has developed iconic lightning solutions, advancing the lightning design industry.

Francisco Gomez Paz stays active in the field of research and education. Since 2000 he has been visiting professor at Domus Academy, holding lectures in Italy and abroad. His projects have been exhibited in several international events and published by leading design publications.

His work has received several international recognitions including the Good Design Award 2010 and the Red Dot Award 2010. Together with Alberto Meda, Francisco Gomez Paz was awarded the First Prize of the Index Award for the Solar Bottle, which also has been selected for the MOMA’s Study Collection. In 2011 he won the Prize of Prizes to Innovation in Design for the Hope chandelier, followed by the prestigious Compasso d’Oro 2011.

Francisco Gomez Paz works and lives between Milan and Salta.

Products by Francisco Gomez Paz
Alfredo Häberli

For many years, Zurich has been home to Alfredo Häberli and his playful design developments. Before resettling in Switzerland with his family in 1977, Alfredo grew up in Argentina, and his work is strongly influenced by his childhood experiences and native country. He works with great emotion, energy and curiosity and benefits from having a visionary mindset, a serious attitude and a keen sense of details. The result is a collected work imbued with a strong expression and inherent emotionality and beauty.

Alfredo Häberli graduated, with distinction, as an industrial designer in 1991 and effortlessly combines tradition and innovation in every aspect of his work, from product designs for leading international design companies to architectural projects such as the Camper shops in Rome, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Zurich and Paris with their diverse, evocative looks.

His most extensive project so far is 25hours Hotel Zurich West (2012), where he was responsible for the interior decoration, choosing a design that mirrors the city with more than 60 bespoke items that create an artistic, allusive atmosphere. Among Alfredo Häberli’s many talents are also exhibition design, curating and scenography.

Numerous awards and honours have been granted to Alfredo Häberli, including ‘Guest of Honour’ at the 20th Biennale of Design in Kortrijk (2006), ‘Designer of the Year’ by Architektur & Wohnen magazine (2009) and the ‘Swiss Grand Prix of Design’ from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (2014).

Products by Alfredo Häberli
Santi & Borachia

Carlo Santi and Vittorio Borachia, who make up the architectural duo Santi Borachia, met while they were both students at the Polytechnic School in Milan during the 1940s and found common ground for exploring the world of architecture and design. Among other collaborations, the duo was involved in the lighting company Arteluce, which at the time attracted the most talented architects and designers due to the visionary and experimental approach of its founder, Gino Sarfatti. Later, Carlo Santi’s and Vittorio Borachia’s spheres of interest moved on to urban planning, but from time to time they continued the exploration of lighting and furniture design, both as a duo and under their own names. Carlo Santi and Vittorio Borachia were guided by the logical and formal principles of the most recent industrial techniques and materials and aimed for an essential elegance in their design, whether in plastic, wood or glass.

Carlo Santi (1925-2004) worked as an architect, designer and urban planner. From the mid-1950s, Carlo Santi engaged in urban investigations from a profound wish to enhance the urban and rural landscape, an interest he shared with Vittorio Borachia. He lectured in Urban Planning at the Polytechnic School in Milan during the 1960s and later became professor in charge. Carlo Santi had a long career with many publications and positions, including as a board member of INU (National Institute of Urban Planning) from 1959 to 1962, and from 1973 to 1973, he was a member of the board of directors of ADI, the Association for Industrial Design, to which he was registered from 1956 to 1980.

Vittorio Borachia (1920-2015) worked as an architect and designer and was also appointed professor of Urban Planning at the Polytechnic School in Milan, the school he and Carlo Santi graduated from. Vittorio Borachia had a great love of nature and strived to embrace it both in architecture and urban planning, always seeking to combine growth and development with ecological sustainability. Vittorio Borachia contributed to numerous publications, and during the early 1950s he collaborated with Carlo Santi on a set of monographic notebooks for Domus magazine. Vittorio Borachia was one of the founders of ILRES, the Ligurian Institute of Economic and Social Research, and he served as President of INU (National Institute of Urban Planning) Liguria from 1965 to 1991.

Products by Santi & Borachia
Gino Sarfatti

Born in Venice in 1912, Gino Sarfatti studied to become an aeronautical engineer until family circumstances compelled him to relocate to Milan where he had his first encounter with lighting, an engineering project to transform a glass vase into a lamp. This encounter with lighting design and engineering shaped the path of his life. In 1939 Gino Sarfatti founded his company Arteluce, which brought lighting into the 20th century combining innovative ideas with groundbreaking design.

Arteluce won numerous prizes and awards including the Compasso d’Oro in 1954 and 1955, and the Honorary Diploma of the Milan Triennale, becoming an important meeting place for many leading Italian architects throughout the 50’s and 60’s. The first Milanese Arteluce retail space was designed with Marco Zanuso in 1951. Ten years later Gino Sarfatti and his lifelong friend Vittoriano Viganò designed their flagship location on Via della Spiga.

Throughout his career, Gino Sarfatti explored and was inspired by new product typologies, innovative materials, lighting technologies, and production techniques. His hybrid talent as a designer and engineer enabled him to created refined products in both aesthetics and function.

Gino Sarfatti was a significant figure in the history of Italian industrial design, developing more than 700 luminaires. In 1973 he retired on Lake Como, with Flos acquiring Arteluce and their expansive catalog.

Gino Sarfatti died at Gravedona in 1985.

Vittoriano Viganò

Vittoriano Viganò was born in Milan in 1919. Son of the painter and engraver Vico Viganò, he graduated in Achitecture at the Polytechnic School of Milan in 1944.

A main figure of the architectural debate in the post war period and an original interpreter of European Rationalism, he was unanimously considered by critics the most important Italian exponent of the ‘Brutalism’ current.

A multidisciplinary talent, a tenured professor in Interior Architecture and Urban Planning during all his life for the Milan Faculty, Vittoriano worked at various scales: from industrial design to architecture, from interior design to urban and landscape planning.

In continuity with the Milanese cultural tradition, Viganò kept opened eyes onto all emerging innovative European and International architectural experiences, which led him to become in the early ‘50’s the Italian correspondent for L’architecture d’Aujourd’hui, the renowned journal directed by artist Andrè Bloc, , and then for Aujourd’hui.

In the same period he took part in severals Triennale’s exhibitions and designed several art galleries in via Brera in Milan.

Vittoriano was Art Director of Arteluce, the company founded by Gino Sarfatti, for some years and for Arteluce he designed numerous luminaires as well as the flagship store in via della Spiga in Milan.

In 1991 the San Luca Academy awarded him the Italian Republic President Prize for Architecture.

In 1994 Milan Triennale re-edited and exhibited some of his furnitures for the great retrospective on the origins of Italian industrial design: some of those were selected for the Permanent Collection.

His work was exhibited worldwide and regularly published.

Vittoriano Viganò died in Milan in 1996.

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