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Design Icon: Piero Lissoni

Piero Lissoni is one of the most influential Italian architects, designers and Art director. Following the mastery of Achille Castiglioni and Ettore Sottsass, Piero Lissoni with his keen sense of minimalism, clean and industrial aesthetics has designed numerous products and spaces for renowned Italian brands such as Bonacina, Glas, Salvatori, Sanlorenzo, Thonet, etc.

Renowned Italian Architect, Designer, and Art Director, Piero Lissoni was born in 1956, in the industrial village of Seregno, just outside Milan. Raised in a family of interesting personalities- his father who was a restorer of antique furniture and grandfathers, one who was a socialist and an anarchist, and the other a communist and an aristocrat, Piero Lissoni grew up between freedom and discipline.

During his Architecture studies at the Polytechnic University of Milan in the late 1970s, Piero, under the extraordinary mentorship of ​Achille Castiglioni and Marco Zanuso started envisioning architecture and design as one all-inclusive discipline. Piero Lissoni's approach to design comes with a great study of proportions, an acute sensitivity for the subtlety, and a philosophy to design not for specific function but design for human beings.

Piero Lissoni started out as an art director for Boffi Kitchens where he designed kitchens and bathrooms. Soon, in 1968, he and his partner, Nicoletta Canesi, established ​Lissoni Associati, a multidisciplinary studio focusing on architecture, interior, and product design. Within ten years, he founded Graph.X, specializing in brand development and corporate identity.

His interiors and architecture projects include offices and showrooms, yachts, private homes, and hotels. In recent years, his prominent works are the Monaco & Grand Canal in Venice, the Al Porto hotel on Lake Zurich, the Bentley Design Hotel in Istanbul, the Mitsui Garden Ginza Hotel in Tokyo, a private villa in Tel Aviv to name a few.

To be an architect means to be flexible. I like to design everything. My process is a bit schizophrenic, I jump in and out between scales. The most important aspect of my work is proportion.

Piero Lissoni with Pietra L01
Colonnata Bookcase by Salvatori

His passion for industrial design resulted in significant collaborations with notable Italian design companies. Piero Lissoni is the artistic director of ​San​ Lorenz​o, ​Bonacina1889, Cappellini, ​Glas Italia​Golran, Illy, Olivari, ​Salvatori for whom he designs various products.

Colonade bookcase by Piero Lissoni for Salvatori was designed to minimize the waste while maximizing the quality of the design. It involves industrial techniques in its production and yet, because the kind of stone we use changes each time, each Colonnata is different.

Piero’s contribution in the design and architecture world has been recognized worldwide and has earned him a series of international awards: Good Design Award, the Red Dot Award, the Compasso D’Oro ADI/Association for Industrial Design, Elle Décor International Design Award, Wallpaper Design Award to name a few. He is also a guest lecturer and member of the Advisory Board at the Milan Politecnico University.

Piero Lissoni's design approach has always been fresh, innovative, comfortable both for the body and the mind, while his architecture projects reflect order and balance that makes his projects real chefs-d’œuvre.

The ideal product should reveal the research behind it, and have a certain amount of style. A period of long reflection goes into my projects and the development phase may take years and require constant modifications.

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