The versatile Italian architect Vico Magistretti is chiefly known as a designer. Vico Magistretti designed a great many furnishings, lighting, ceramics and objects made of plastic. Vico Magistretti's designs invariably link sculptural elegance with technical sophistication. Vico Magistretti started out studying at the Champ Universitaire Italien de Lausanne in Switzerland, where he took courses in architecture and urban planning. From 1940 to 1945 Vico Magistretti studied at Milan Polytechnic, where he took his diploma in architecture.
Vico Magistretti built private houses, office buildings, churches and hotels. From 1946 Magistretti worked as a freelance designer for companies such as Artemide, Cassina, Conran, De Padova, Flou, FontanaArte, Fritz Hansen, Kartell, Knoll, O-Luce, Schiffini, and Campeggi.
From the 1960s Vico Magistretti designed furniture and objects of plastic. His "Telegono" table lamp dates from 1968. Magistretti designed "Selene", a plastic stackable chair moulded in one piece for Artemide in 1969. The Magistretti chairs "Gaudì" and "Vicario" were made in 1970. In 1977 Vico Magistretti designed "Atollo", a metal table lamp, and that same year the folding shelving system "Nuvola Rossa". In 1983 Vico Magistretti designed "Veranda", a convertible sofa that, like his earlier (1973) "Maralunga", is equipped with an adjustable headrest. No matter what materials were used, Vico Magistretti always attached great importance to high quality workmanship.
For a design solution to be long-lived and of high quality, Vico Magistretti felt it had to be both beautiful and useful.
From 1980 Vico Magistretti taught at the Royal College of Art in London, becoming an Honorary Fellow in 1983 and, in 1996 a Senior Fellow.