Emilio Ambasz

(b. 1943)

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(1943– )

Having studied architecture at Princeton University from 1960 to 1965, the Argentinean Emilio Ambasz became Curator of Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York from 1970 to 1975 where he organized the landmark Italy: The New Domestic Landscape Exhibition in 1972. This showcase for Italian avant‐garde design thinking explored the idea of objects as part of a total environment—rather than individual, stand‐alone, aesthetically self‐conscious products—as seen in the work of groups such as Archizoom and Superstudio. He also curated the 1974 MOMA exhibition The Chairs of Charles R. Mackintosh and, in 1976, designed MOMA's environmentally focused exhibition entitled The Taxi Project: Realistic Solutions Today. As an industrial, graphic designer and exhibition designer, he established architectural and design offices in New York and Bologna, Italy, in 1976. The Emilio Ambasz Design Group was founded in New York in 1981. Design successes included the Ergonomic Vertebra chair for Open Ark (1976), which responded to the movements of the user, the Dorsal seating system (1981), spotlights for Logotec (1981), and the Osiris lighting system for Erco Leuchten (1983). He has held many educational roles in Europe and the United States, including a visiting professorship at the Hochschule für Gestaltung at Ulm, Germany, in 1967. He has also won many design awards including the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1973, the US National Design Award in 1980, and the Compasso d'Oro in 1981.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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