Italian Furniture Designer – Achille Castiglioni

Italian Industrial Designer: Achille Castiglioni

An Italian interior designer, born in Milan in 1918, one of the founders of Association for Design Industry (ADI). Has a degree in Architecture from the Milan Polytechnic University. He was nominated as Professor of “Artistic Industrial Design”, was the chair of the Faculty of Architecture in Turin until and taught “Industrial Design” at his alma-mater.

Achille Castiglioni – Popular Furniture Designer

Respective to his previous occupations, Castiglioni, alone or with other designers, has made more than 150 objects, such as bookshelves, chairs, cameras, lamps, telephones, vacuum cleaners.

One of the main principles for all his creations was to make Ready-made objects, that is new pieces, made from old things from our everyday life. Examples would be his famous chairs “Mezzadro” (Italian for “sharecropper”) from a tractor seat and “Sella” (Italian for “saddle”) – from a bicycle seat and a cast-iron hemisphere, both made in duet with his brother Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.

Italian Industrial Designer: Achille Castiglioni

Italian Industrial Designer: Achille Castiglioni

Another direction of his art was Redesigned objects – objects that were simply changed and thus received a new function. In 1989 Achille redesigned a coffee table, connecting several shelves with a leg, which made possible revolves of their axis. This invention was given the name “Basello”. Using the same idea, he created a bookshelf “Joy”.

Italian Industrial Designer: Achille Castiglioni


The “minimalist” group of his inventions include a floor lamp “Illuminator”, which actually stands on a pipe. Electricity comes from the base of this lamp.


14 of his works are currently in the Museum of Modern Arts in New York.  Besides NY, you can find his works in museums of London, Monaco, Prague, Jerusalem, Hamburg, Zurich.  Considering that this is not the full list of cities that give credit for his work, it is easy to say that Achille Castiglioni has reached great success during his life.

There is also a museum in his name in Milan (Studio Museum Achille Castiglioni)

The reason for such success is probably the simplicity yet uniqueness of his creations. Simplicity consists in the ability to make the same objects yourself. The more simple things are, the more attention they attract and the more people want to have them. In my opinion, this should be the motto for all designers. Uniqueness is the fact that he is one of the first ones to use ready objects for his creations and that up to today, not everyone has enough fantasy, patience and wits to reuse their needless things.

“Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means”. – Achille Castiglioni

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