Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Italian designer, architect, and urban planner
“Pier Giacomo Castiglioni did not know the work of Marcel Duchamp; but an obvious and mysterious affinity of an artist must have led him apply the same poetry of ready-made and the objet trouvé, in the field of design.”
Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (born Milan, April 22, 1913–died November 27, 1968) was an Italian designer, architect, and urban planner. He is the second of the three Castiglioni brothers (Livio and Achille Castiglioni). Like his brothers, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni studied architecture at Politecnico di Milano, getting his degree in 1937. In 1938, Pier Giacomo and his elder brother, Livio, founded a practice in Milan, which the youngest brother, Achille, joined in 1944. Livio left the joint practice in 1952 to focus his practice in the design of radio and sound devices. read more
Before Pier Giacomo’s and Achille’s long partnership starting in 1944, Pier Giacomo demonstrated his talent and excellence in design while collaborating with his brother Livio and with Luigi Caccia Dominioni. Some of the most prominent designs of this time are the Phonola radio–presented at the Triennale di Milano in 1940, and of the cutlery set with a three-prong fork–which was still in production by Alessi until recently.
Much of the work that Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni did was in furniture design, product design, and exhibition design, but they also carried out a number of architectural projects. It is important to note that most of the works done by the two brothers while both were alive, are not attributable to either one of them.
Some of their most notable furniture designs are the Taraxacum (1960), Beehive or Splügen Braü lamp (1961), Toio or Toy lamp (1962), Arco lamp (1962), Taccia lamp (1962), the Luminator lamp (1955)–winner of the Compasso d’Oro, and Snoopy lamp (1967); the RR226 stereo system (1965); the Sanluca Chair (1961); the Spalter vacuum cleaner (1956); he iconic Mezzardo or Sharecropper’s for Zanotta (1957) that was not manufactured until 1971, three years after his death; and the Cacciavite, or Screwdriver, side table for Zanotta (1966).
Pier Giacomo Castiglioni worked with his brother Achille Castiglioni until Pier Giacomo’s death in 1968, and he is considered one of the most influential designers of the Italian furniture design. Dino Gavina places him in the top ten designers in the world. His works are displayed in the most important collections, in the museums from the MoMA in New York to the Triennale di Milano Museum in Milan.
For more information on Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, please visit Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Official Site.
Last updated: June 5, 2020
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