Gio Ponti (1891 - 1979)
Born to parents Enrico Ponti and Giovanna Rigone in 1891 (Milan, Italy), Gio Ponti is considered to be among the most famous and influential architects of the 20th century. A man of many talents, Ponti also worked successfully in the fields of industrial design and furniture design as well being heavily involved in art, publishing and university lecturing.
Following his military service in WW1 (1916 - 1918) Ponti graduated from Politecnico di Milano University with a degree in architecture and in 1923 opened Studio Ponti e Lancia PL with Emilio Lancia. It was a partnership that would last seven years, in which time Ponti became heavily influence by and associated with the Milanese neo-classical Novecento Italiano movement.
Although he was involved in numerous prestigious projects, Gio Ponti's architectural career highlight is arguably winning the commission to design the 32-story Pirelli Tower, the second ever 'skyscraper' built in Milan and a project that garnered international attention.
In a career spanning half a century, Ponti designed a host of furniture, lighting and home accessories including a line of furnishing for Rinascente department stores (under the name Domus Nova), ceramics such as maiolica vases, procelain and sanitryware as well as lighting solutions for companies such as Artemide, Fontana Arte and Venini.
Throughout his lifetime, Gio Ponti endeavored to produce a fusion of functionality and practicality with visually pleasing designs. While this idea persisted as a common inspiration in all areas of his work, it is particularly noticeable in the chairs he designed and produced during the 1950s. The most famous of these chairs, the "Superleggera" (super light) chair is very strong, yet so light that it can be lifted up by a child using just one finger.
Among his work for Via Randaccio in Milan, Ponti designed the Randaccio (1925) and FA33 mirrors (1933) which have now been brought into production by Copenhagen based company Gubi and are available to order online at Utility.