Unlike most contemporary Italian designers, Alberto Meda studied mechanical engineering instead of architecture at Milan Polytechnic, completing his studies in 1969. From 1973 until 1979, Alberto Meda was technical director at Kartell, where he was responsible for plastics technologies and furniture production. From 1979 Alberto Meda freelanced as a designer, working as a technical design consultant for coffee-machine maker Brevetti Gaggia and, from 1981 until 1985, for Alfa Romeo.
From 1983 until 1987 Alberto Meda taught industrial technology at the Domus Academy in Milan. From 1995 until 1997 Meda taught industrial design at Milan Polytechnic. Between 1995 and 1997 Alberto Meda was a member of the board of directors at DesignLabor in Bremerhaven.
What matters most to Alberto Meda is experimenting with the potential of new materials. His training as a mechanical engineer must be what makes Alberto Meda give priority to construction rather than form at the outset of a new design project. In fact Alberto Meda views the vast potential of technology as a "supermarket for creative possibilities", which he imaginatively exploits to the full in his technically sophisticated designs. That the emphasis on technology has also been conducive to the creation of objects that are exquisite in form is shown in Alberto Meda's designs for furniture, lighting, and utilitarian objects, which have been executed by Alias, Alessi, Arabia-Finland, JcDecaux, Mandarina Duck, Ideal Standard, Luceplan, Kartell, Philips, Vitra, and many other distinguished firms.
In 1986 Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto collaborated on designing "Berenice", a delicate and graceful work lamp for Luceplan, which is an absolute classic. The "Berenice" provides cutting-edge halogen technology while the lamp art is based on the equilibration of forces by springs technology developed in 1933 by George Carwardine for the legendary "Anglepoise" lamp. In 1987 Alberto Meda designed the "Light light" chair, consisting of an inner Nomex honey-comb structure covered in carbon fiber impregnated with epoxy resin, which makes the construction so light that the chair only weighs about a kilogram.
In 1989 the Alberto Meda "Titania" was launched, a pendent lamp with an ellipsoid shade formed of aluminium ribs. The "Titania" is suspended on virtually invisible nylon cords, which makes it appear to hover in space. Both uplight and downlight, the "Titania" radiates white light; if desired, color filters can tint the lateral light and the aluminium housing.
Another highly sophisticated construction from this versatile designer is the 1997 "Meda Chair", which has received numerous awards and does not in the least resemble a simple office chair.