Alessandro Mendini


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Alessandro Mendini

Born in 1931 in Milan, Alessandro Mendini plays a big role in the developing of the Italian design.

Already one year after graduating of his architecture studies in Milan, Mendini became partner of the Olivetti-Designer Marcello Nizzoli in 1960 in the "Studio Nizzoli Associati".

Medini became theoretician of the Italian avant-garde design and pulser for new tendencies through his works as founder, editor and editor in charge of the magazines "Casabella" (1970-1976), "Modo" (founded in 1977) and "Domus" (1979-1985).

In 1973 Mendini was co-founder of the alternative design school "Global Tools" and in 1978 one of the first members of the legendary studio Alchimia, for which he designed the Sofa Kandissi and the table Ondoso (both 1979).

Together with other international designers Mendini developed concepts of the Redesign and Banal Designs, in which daily tools are changed with colour and shapes into new, ironic tools. Especially through this ironic, mostly respect-less association with the modern belief of "good taste" and the alienation of historic masters and design classics Mendini offers not often flint for briskly discussions.

«Today original quality doesn't exist any more. The invention of new shapes is exchanged by the variations on decoration and surfaces. The design is Re-Design. Designing is decorating.»

The with decoration and ornament bedizen and alienated objects - exemplary realised at the Thonet- and Bauhaus-chairs came up against incomprehension and hard critcalism of agents of the functionalism. The aim of Mendinis is not in representing the one-dimensional or functional design style, but to bring up questions after sense and function and through that to assist the communication about design.

Alessandro Mendini was and still is working over many years as Art Director and mentor for Swatch and Alessi. Since 1989 he controls together with his brother Francesco (also architect) the Atelier Mendini in Milan, which also implement theoretic studies, and also realises very successful design- and architecture applications. Besides worldwide more than hundred interior designed Swatch-Shops, shops for Alessi and Showrooms for Bisazza, Mendini created many trend-setting design- and architecture-objects.

Many works of Mendini are the Alberto Alessi designed Casa della Felicità (1983-1988), for the Mendini Architects like Aldo Rossi, Ettore Sottsass and Riccardo Dalisi with the completion of respectively in itself impartial tracts. The museum in Groningen (1988-1994), in which Mendini used the same principle, designed the entry-area and for the single, as building in itself in finished partition of international build-artists and designers like Coop Himmelblau, Michele de Lucchi and Philippe Starck. The Paradise Tower in Hiroshima (1989, mit Yumiko Kabayashi), the Scuola del Mosaico in Spilimbergo and the sculptural Steintor-Straßenbahnstation in the Hanover city (1994).

Famous design-objects of Mendinis are the unmistakable corkscrew figures Anna G. (1994) and Alessandro M. (2003) for Alessi, the armchair Poltrona di Proust and armchair Vassilij (both 1978 for Alchimia, 1993 Reedition at Cappelini), the table Papilio for Zanotta (1985), the filter coffee maker Geo for Alessi (2003) or the Sofa Kandissi and the table Ondoso (both 1979 for Alchimia).

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