The Italian furniture designer Giancarlo Piretti was born in Bologna in 1940, where he attended the Istituto Statale d'Arte until 1960. After finishing his studies, Giancarlo Piretti was employed by Anonima Castelli, where he was head designer until 1972 and head of the development division.
In 1969 Giancarlo Piretti designed "Plia", an extremely successful folding chair that received several design awards, with a light frame of chromium-plated tubular steel and a seat and back of transparent Lucite. When folded, the "Plia" is only 5 cm thick. In 1969 Giancarlo Piretti designed a folding "Plia" table. In the late 1970s Giancarlo Piretti and Emilio Ambasz collaborated on ergonomic office furniture, including "Vertebra" (1977), an office chair with a flexible back and another office chair, "Dorsal" (1981).
Between 1963 and 1970 Giancarlo Piretti taught at the Istituto Statale d'Arte in Bologna.