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Design Icon: Alessandro Mendini

Multifaceted designer, architect, and critic Alessandro Mendini has made an essential contribution to the expression and development of postmodern design and redesign, becoming one of Italy’s most prominent voices in the postmodernism movement. Remember and get to know the story of this great master who renewed Made in Italy design production, and discover the colorful collections he designed for Corsi Design Factory and Post Design.

Alessandro Mendini portrait credits Carlo Lavatori
Alessandro Mendini portrait credits Carlo Lavatori

​Alessandro Mendini was born in Milan in 1931. He graduated from Politecnico of Milano in 1959 with a degree in architecture and worked as a designer, architect and artist.

He was editor-in-chief of various design magazines such as Casabella and Domus and even founded Modo in 1977 and Ollo in 1988.

In the 1970s he became one of the main personalities of the Radical design movement, and later one of the founding members of the "Global Tools" collective, set up in 1973. In 1979 he joined the Studio Alchimia as a partner and worked together with ​Ettore Sottsass and Michele De Lucchi. In 1982 he co-founded Domus Academy, a private postgraduate design school in Milan.

In his career as an architect, he designed several buildings, among which the Alessi residence in Omegna, Italy; the theater complex "Teatrino della Bicchieraia" in Arezzo, Tuscany; a memorial tower in Hiroshima, Japan; the Groninger Museum in The Netherlands and the Arosa Casino in Switzerland.

To be interesting an object should include an error: too red, too big, too kitsch; that way you look at it with different attention.

Alessandro Mendini Proust Geometrica Chair
Alessandro Mendini Proust Geometrica Chair

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Alessandro Mendini, installation for the apartment N.50 of the Unité d'Habitation, Le Corbusier, Marseille, 2016. Credits Philippe Savoir & FONDATION LE CORBUSIER/ ADAGP
Alessandro Mendini, installation for the apartment N.50 of the Unité d'Habitation, Le Corbusier, Marseille, 2016. Credits Philippe Savoir & FONDATION LE CORBUSIER/ ADAGP

​In 1979, 1981 and 2014 he was awarded the Compasso d’Oro award. In France he was nominated Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, he is the recipient of an honorary title from the Architectural League of New York and was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Politecnico di Milano where he studied.

In 1989, together with his brother Francesco Mendini, he opened Atelier Mendini which received a Gold Medal for Italian architecture in 2003 from Triennale di Milano for their plan for the metro in Naples and the 2006 Villegiature Awards in Paris for the Byblos Art Hotel in Verona.

Skateboards Designed by Alessandro Mendini for Supreme
Skateboards Designed by Alessandro Mendini for Supreme
Alessandro Mendini Proust Geometrica Chair
Alessandro Mendini Proust Geometrica Chair

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