written by:
February 26, 2015
Today we say buon compleanno to two grandfathers of modern Italian design, Achille Castiglioni (1918–2002) and Angelo Mangiarotti (1921–2012), with a survey of their iconic works.
Achille Castiglioni (1918-2002).

Achille Castiglioni (1918–2002)Between alluring irony and blunt practicality are the brilliant designs of Achille Castiglioni, whose mantra was “Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means.” For Castiglioni, who sometimes worked with his brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo, common sense meant sitting on a bicycle seat while talking on the phone, or using a polymer webbing to create the poetic Gatto table lamp.

Originally appeared in Italian Design: Passato al Presente
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Brionvega RR226 stereo by Achille Castiglioni

The Radiofonografo by Castiglioni for Brionvaga earned pride of place in this living room. Its speakers can be rearranged at will.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Designed In-House
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The Taraxacum '88 was named for the ethereal dandelion, and the 60 transparent bulbs that adorn the polished aluminum icosahdron are truly luminous when switched on. It's a showstopper, no doubt, not for the wallflowers (or energy-savers) out there.

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Alberto Moncada by a Achille Castiglioni's Mezzadro stool

In 1957, brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni attached a tractor seat to a chrome-plated steel stem and the classic Mezzadro stool was born. Zanotta began producing it in 1970.

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Originally appeared in Less Is Amore
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Modern living room with mid-century modern furniture

If you’re going to drop a thousand dollars on a lamp, consider a classic, like Castiglioni's marble Snoopy lamp, originally introduced in 1967, which sits atop the mantle of this Australian home.

Originally appeared in Aussie Living Room We Love
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Resident in living room with sculptures and black furniture

Created in 1962 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos, the iconic steel-and-marble Arco lamp's design was based on the shape of a streetlight. A sturdy base anchors the form, while the graceful arch of the stainless-steel shade extends eight feet.

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Originally appeared in An Architect References Local Architecture to Build a Modern Home
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Angelo Mangiarotti portrait

Angelo Mangiarotti was born in Milan on February 26, 1921, and graduated in Architecture in 1948 at Politecnico di Milano. The prolific designer and educator created products including tables, chairs, utensils, and lighting.

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In the tearoom of a South Korean home, Tre 3 chairs by Mangiarotti for AgapeCasa surround a Trienna table by Ilmari Tapiovaara for Artek.

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Originally appeared in Music Holl: A Copper Clad Pavilion in Seoul
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Maritime Table Lamp by Angelo Mangiarotti

The Maritime Table Clock’s domed face and curved edges are inspired by the nautical tools and instrument panels found on seafaring ships. Created by Mangiariotti in 1956, its angled, acrylic face is supported by a porcelain pedestal.

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The rich back catalog of Mangiarotti—spanning the 1950s to the 1970s—provided a trove of designs for the first collection from Agape Casa. Gravity holds aloft the cantilevered marble top surface of Eccentrico, which simply slots into the marble base.

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Achille Castiglioni (1918-2002).

Achille Castiglioni (1918–2002)Between alluring irony and blunt practicality are the brilliant designs of Achille Castiglioni, whose mantra was “Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means.” For Castiglioni, who sometimes worked with his brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo, common sense meant sitting on a bicycle seat while talking on the phone, or using a polymer webbing to create the poetic Gatto table lamp.

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