Italian craftsman and furniture maker
Roberto Poggi (1924- ) was an essential figure in Italian furniture maker renowned for his craftsmanship, avant-garde forms, and his enduring collaborations with Neo-Rationalist designer Franco Albini. For as pivotal a role that Poggi holds in the history of 20th century Italian furniture making and design, there is surprisingly little biographical information available. Born in Pavia in 1924, Poggi was the son of Carlo Poggi, who had established one of the region’s most prestigious carpentry studios. During his early youth, Roberto Poggi trained with his father in the studio; gaining familiarity with the trends and techniques of Italian design, and was able to grow this foundation into a passion for both carpentry and craftsmanship. read more
Wanting to explore the new aesthetics and ideas emerging after World War II, Poggi teamed up with Franco Albini for the first time in the late 1940s, in what would become an extended series of collaborative engagements. The duo developed some of the most revolutionary designs between the 1950s and 1970s, including the now iconic Cicognino Side Table (1953), which blended the clean lines of the modernist ideal with an upward-reaching extension. The marvel of this piece is that it reflects both the playful, in that made the three-legged table assume the profile of a swan, and the functional, as this addition doubled as a handle by which the table could be picked up and moved.
The designer-craftsman partnership established between Roberto Poggi and Franco Albini produced many important pieces, among these are the Luisa Chair, (1950), the LB7 Bookcase (1950), the Stadera sc27 Desk (1954), the Franco Albini and Franca Helg Desk (1957), the TL3 Dining Table (1957), and the Stadera Desk (1958).
What ensured this consistent achievement was Poggi’s enduring commitment to exacting detail throughout his company’s creations. Never wanting to abandon the attention to detail and quality craftsmanship that his father had instilled in him, Poggi hoped to bring that level of finesse even to the designs that incorporated the newest materials and forms. The result was an array of furnishings that were both streamlined and novel while also being expertly made.
As the years passed, Poggi continued to succeed with an ongoing array of vital collaborations. One such success was Ugo La Pietra’s “Uno sull’altro” modular bookshelves (1970). Poggi creations are coveted today among private collectors and museums alike, with works by Poggi included within the permanent Italian design collection at La Triennale di Milano.
Last updated: January 13, 2019
For additional information on Poggi, please visit:
“Il mondo di Roberto Poggi: l’officina del design (e di Franco Albini).” Architetti, 9 January 2017.
Simone Mosca, “Roberto Poggi l’artigiano che lavoro coi big del design.” La Repubblica, 22 January 2017.