Italian design studio and maker of home accessories and lights
Danese (established in 1957) is recognized as an influential late 20th century Italian design studio and maker of home accessories and lights. Launched as a collaboration among innovators with early input from design icons Bruno Munari (1907-1998) and Enzo Mari (1932), the company consistently explored the integration of art and design through the clean lines of minimalism and the expressive potential of materials.
Founder Bruno Danese (1930–2016) first launched the design firm DEM (Danese e Meneguzzo) in 1955 with his close colleague and business partner Franco Meneguzzo (1924–2008). read more
When this attempt failed, Bruno Danese teamed up with his wife, Jacqueline Vodoz (1921–2005), and in 1957, they established the Danese design studio company. Shortly after its launched, the company started a collaboration with the talented designers Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari. Their input into the materials and methods used in the Danese designs—reflected in creations like Mari’s 16 Animals children’s puzzle or Munari’s Falkland pendant light—helped the company build its reputation as an innovative design force by providing a new lucid and pure aesthetic that resonated with mid-century tastes.
One of the inspirations for Danese’s workshop was the Bauhaus ideology. Originally proposed by founder Walter Gropius in the 1920s as a means of pairing streamlined design with ultimate functionality, the Bauhaus ideology helped contribute to an international fascination with designs that emphasized clean lines and simple forms in direct contrast to the extreme ornament that had dominated much of 19th century aesthetics. Though many of the key figures of the European Bauhaus movement had scattered in the years approaching World War II, revolutionaries like Danese, alongside Munari and Mari, were able to revive that original energy and thereby draw a new generation to their striking styles. Their dedication to this design vision permeated every element of Danese’s work and even influenced the design of Danese’s studio, which was equal parts workshop and gallery.
Over the years, the company produced a number of pieces that reflected an ongoing passion for collaboration, and this energy has persisted. In the 1990s, Carlotta de Bevilaqua took over the reins of the company, and her design sensibility and knowledge have helped it remain a force of design ingenuity in a crowded landscape.
Last updated: January 13, 2019
For additional please visit:
“Danese Milano – History.” Official company site.
Marco Sammichele, “Addio a Bruno Danese.” Corriere della Sera – Abitare, 29 November 2016.
Larry Weinberg, “What to Collect Now: Danese Milano.” Interior Design, 20 April 2018.