Italian designer, architect, and artist
“Architecture is not the art of building. Architecture is a discipline that interprets the history, technologies and changes of society.”
Andrea Branzi (born on November 30 1938, Florence) is an Italian designer, architect, and artist. In 1966, he graduated with a degree in architecture at the Florence School of Architecture. His work and interests are related to industrial design, architecture, urban planning, and cultural promotion. Since 1973, he has lived in Milan, where he currently works and where he taught industrial design at the Politecnico di Milano until 2009.
Andrea Branzi Led The Avant-Garde Architecture And Design Practice Of His Time
Andrea Branzi, along with Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi, and Gilberto Coretti, founded the collective movement Archizoom Associati in 1966, and Dario and Lucia Bartolini joined the group in 1968. Archizoom would become the most vivid example of the Florentine Radical movement, and one of the most respected and heard voices in the entire Radical Architecture movement. read more
In 1966, Archizoom and Superstudio jointly organized the influential Superarchitettura exhibition, from which a strong theoretical design framework emanated and where the design objects and prototypes exhibited showed a strong English pop influence. From 1966 to 1973, Arhizoom designed and created innovative furniture for Poltronova that encapsulated the era, such as Dream Beds in 1967, the Superonda sofa (1966), the Safari sofa (1967), and the Mies armchair in 1969. In 1976, Andrea Branzi started participating in the experimental industrial design group Studio Alchimia, founded by Alessandro Guerriero, and associated himself with the Memphis Group in the early 1980s.
While in Archizoom, Andrea Branzi led the No-Stop City project. A theoretical project first published in 1970 in Casabella magazine, in which Branzi and the other participants of Archizoom, propose a city without architecture, built with a repetitive pattern with numerous hubs that form a continuous even structure. In this utopian city, humans live in a continuous flow of information, markets and services, integrating nature to decorate and create their environments. Spaces are adorned with rocks and branches that coexist with industrially generated materials and the basic tools of modern existence and transportation such as motorcycles and electric appliances.
Andrea Branzi’s Work In His Own Studio
In 1982, Branzi opened his own studio to concentrate on architecture, urban planning, interior design, and industrial design. Among the important architectural projects that he got involved in are the new Modern Art Gallery and the recovery plan of the block of San Francesco in Arezzo (1987); in collaboration with Isao Hosoe, Clino Trini Castelli, and Tullio Zini, the Tokyo City X project for Mitsubishi Co. (1990); and with Michele De Lucchi and Ettore Sottsass, the research project for the offices of Vitra (1993).
Since the establishment of his studio, Branzi has collaborated with several Italian manufacturers, including Acerbis, Alessi, Artemide, Cassina, Interflex, Lapis, Pioneer, Unitalia, Up & Up, and Zanotta.
In 2012, Branzi had the seminal exhibition “Trees” where he presents works that blur the boundaries between nature and its creations with and aspects industrial production. In this clearly contemporary exhibition, Branzi uses poetic design language that seems to describe the effects of human activity and how it is changing the planet, and the ever more present intrusion of the technical into the “natural.”
Branzi As A Writer And Academic
In 1983, he was one of the founders of the Domus Academy in Milan, the first international postgraduate school of fashion, industrial design, and design management, and, in 1995, he was awarded a Compasso d’Oro for his work at the Domus Academy.
Throughout his career, Branzi has written several books; among the most notable are: Learning from Milan, The Hot House and Domestic Animals (published by MIT press), Nouvelles de la métropole froide (Centre Georges Pompidou), and Introduzione al design italiano. Branzi has collaborated with many Italian architectural magazines, such as Interni, Domus, Casabella, and MODO.
Important Andrea Branzi Exhibitions And Awards
Prominent exhibitions of his work include the enormous Vase, which was on permanent display in the courtyard of the Design Museum in Gent, but that has since been moved to the Verbeke Foundation. Another exhibition with large-scale objects was the Open Enclosures montage at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, exhibited in 2008.
In 2008, Andrea Branzi was named an Honorary Royal Designer in the United Kingdom. The same year, he launched a series of shelf units and console tables titled Trees, which were exhibited at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris. “Formally, these pieces are a delight, the rigid monochrome geometry of the metal playing against the patterned vitality of the tree. But there is also something surreal about the way these highly romantic trees boldly invade this accomplished minimalist furniture,” wrote The Financial Times.
Last updated: March 17, 2020
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Books About Andrea Branzi’s Creative Work As Designer, Architect, And Thinker
Clio Calvi & Rudy Volpi
Andrea Branzi – Epigrammi
Andrea Branzi things, thoughtes & territories: made in Belgium
Ghent – Casa Argentaurum
Ghent, Belgium (2010)
Andrea Branzi: Open Enclosures
No-Stop City: Archizoom Associati
Orléans, France, (2006)
Andrea Branzi: The Complete Works
Thames & Hudson Ltd 1st Edition
Introduzione al design italiano: Una modernità incomplete
Baldini & Castoldi
Learning from Milan: Design and the Second Modernity
The MIT Press
Cambridge, MA, USA (1988)
The Hot House. Italian New Wave Design
The MIT Press
Cambridge, MA, USA (1984)
Moderno, postmoderno, millenario: Scritti teorici, 1972-1980; Introduzione: Gillo Dorfles
Studio Forma: Alchymia