Italian designer, architect, and artist
Andrea Branzi (born on November 30 1938, Florence) is an Italian designer, architect, and artist. In 1938, he enrolled to study architecture at the Florence School of Architecture, and he graduated in 1966. 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, 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) and 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.
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). In the field of industrial design, Branzi has collaborated with several other Italian manufacturers, including Acerbis, Alessi, Artemide, Cassina, Interflex, Lapis, Pioneer, Unitalia, Up & Up, and Zanotta.
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.
Prominent exhibitions of his work include the enormous Vase, which was on permanent display in the courtyard of the Design Museum in Gent but 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.
Throughout his career, Branzi has written several books, with the most notable including 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.
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: June 24, 2019
Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article by correcting errors, adding updates, or filling important omissions here