Eye on Design | Milan | Studio Achille Castiglioni

Experience the delightful world of the late Achille Castiglioni (1918 – 2002), one of the greatest masters of 20th century design, in the studio where he and his brother, Pier Giacomo, produced some of the most iconic, practical and beautiful industrial designs of modern times.

”Design demands observation.”

With this statement as his motto, Castiglioni created objects that were inspired by and responded to the demands of everyday life. His ingenuity and sense of humor come to life as his daughter, Giovanna, leads the tour and describes her father’s work and life.

“There has to be irony both in design and in the objects. I see around me a professional disease of taking everything too seriously. One of my secrets is to joke all the time.”

I was particularly fascinated by his handmade prototype for the Arco lamp (which he designed to arch over a table and chairs), the meticulously numbered boxes that held his designs, and the cabinet full of found objects that were his inspiration. I had to literally drag myself away from the long wall covered with his sketches and notes…I wanted to stay and soak in his genius.

“Start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means.”