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Alessandro Mendini

1931 Mailand

Alessandro Mendini studied architecture at Milan Polytechnic architecture until 1959. Alessandro Mendini played a pivotal role in the development of 1970s and 1980s Italian design. Between 1970 and 1976, Mendini was editor of the architecture magazine "Casabella" and, from 1977 to 1981, of "Modo". From 1979 1985 Mendini was the publisher of "Domus" magazine.
Alessandro Mendini became an important theorist and instigator of avant-garde design in Italy. In 1973 Alessandro Mendini was a founding member of the "Global Tools" group and, in 1978, a founding member of "Studio Alchimia". That same year saw the first re-designs by Alessandro Mendini.
Convinced that the tradition of moder design had exhausted its potential and that innovation was no longer possible, Alessandro Mendini subjected several Modern classics to an ironically witty metamorphosis. He applied new decoration to the classic Marcel Breuer armchair "Wassily" and to a Thonet chairs. To the Gio Ponti "Superleggera" chair Alessandro Mendini added little flags. Mendini redesigned the Joe Colombo "Universale" chair with a marbled surface texture. Another 1978 Alessandro Mendini brainstorm was the "Proust" armchair. For the 1980 Venice Biennale Alessandro Mendini organized the exhibition "L'oggetto banale".
In 1981 Alessandro Mendini designed the "Mobile infinito" edition for Cassina. In 1983 Alessandro Mendini collaborated with Achille Castiglioni and the star architect Aldo Rossi to design "Casa della Felicità" for Alessi. Between 1988-93 Alessandro Mendini built the Groningen Museum in the Netherlands as a collaborative project with Philippe Starck, Frank Stella, and Michele de Lucchi.

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