A highly influential Italian architect, designer, and theorist since the late 1960s, Branzi has been involved with many progressive elements of Italian design. These include the Radical Design group Archizoom, of which he was a co‐founder in 1966 in Florence, where he graduated from the Architecture School in the same year. Opposed to the constraints of functionalism and the restrictive dictates of manufacturing industry he was influenced by the aesthetic freedoms of Pop and the semiotic potential of design explored by contemporary writers such as Gillo Dorfles and Umberto Eco. As editor of Casabella in the early 1970s he wrote about the ideas and practice of many of the more progressive tendencies in Italian design before becoming involved with such important avant‐garde groups as Studio Alchimia and Memphis. His prolific design output also included the Domestic Animals series (1985) for Zabro (see Zanotta) and the Mamma‐à tea kettle for Alessi. Branzi was awarded a Compasso d'Oro in 1987 for his contributions to design. Between 1983 and 1987, the same years in which he was editor‐in‐chief of Modo magazine, he became director of Domus Academy, a leading Milanese design institution that took into its approach many of the radical currents that had been emerging in Italian design over the previous fifteen years. Much of his thinking about design was evidenced in his seminal text of 1984, The Hot House: Italian New Wave Design. He also organized the 1991 exhibition European Capital of the New Design at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, in which he looked at the internationalization of what was termed New Design in Milan, Barcelona, and other centres with a radical design climate.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.