Achille Castiglione


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After graduating in architecture from Milan Polytechnic in 1944, Achille Castiglione worked in a wide range of design fields in collaboration with his brothers Livio (1911–79) and Piergiacomo (1913–68), both of whom had themselves previously graduated in architecture from the same institution. In 1944 he set up in practice with his brothers, who had earlier run a Milanese design studio from 1938 to 1940 with Luigi Caccia Dominioni, where they designed a radio for Phonola. The brothers concentrated on lighting and exhibition design, some outcomes of which were seen at the Milan Triennali of 1951, 1954, and 1957. In 1952 Livio left the practice to work independently, whilst Achille and Piergiacome continued to produce stylish and original designs. In furniture these included the famous Mezzadro cantilever stool of 1957, utilizing a mass‐produced tractor seat (although not put into production by Zanotta until 1971), and the Sella seat, also of 1957 and for Zanotta, using a bicycle saddle. In the same year they exhibited these ideas exploring the idea of ‘readymades’ in a show in Como entitled Forme e Colori nella Casa d'Oggi. They also used readymade components as a feature of their lighting designs, as in the Bulb lamp with its exposed bulb shown at the 1957 Triennale and the Toio lamp of 1962 for Flos that utilized a mass‐produced car headlight. Other well‐known lights designed by the Castiglione brothers included the Luminator for Arform in 1955 and the sweeping Arco lamp in marble and steel for Flos in 1962. Their designs also embraced a wide range of products such as the red plastic vacuum cleaner for REM in 1956 and the zoomorphic RR126 stereo system for Brionvega of 1965. After Piergiacomo's death in 1968 Achille continued to produce innovative work for a range of companies including Ideal Standard and Alessi. A founder member of the Association of Italian Designers (ADI) in 1956, he taught industrial design at Turin Polytechnic from the late 1960s onwards.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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