Riccardo Dalisi finished his architecture studies at Naples University in 1957, where he later became a professor of architecture. In the late 1960s Riccardo Dalisi was a leading exponent of individual creativity in the anti-design debate. The anti-design movement was highly critical of technical progress, mass-production of utilitarian objects and consumerism. Several radical design groups have been founded in Italy, including Archizoom, Superstudio, Gruppo Strum, UFO, and 9999.
Riccardo Dalisi organized workshops in the Traiano section of Naples, where children could make objects of all sorts of materials and experiment with "tecnica povera" (simple technique). Riccardo Dalisi's ultimate aim was to make design more personal, creative, and spontaneous again.
In 1973 numerous designers and architects met in the rooms of the journal "Casabella", whose editor was Alessandro Mendini, to discuss founding a "School" for counter-design and counter-architecture. A year later Global Tools was founded in Florence.
Global Tools set up several workshops, which were called laboratories, in which design could be pursued on the lines advocated by Riccardo Dalisi and new technical materials could be investigated. The group was disbanded by 1975 but many former members would become leading exponents of Postmodernism in the late 1970s and the 1980s.
As co-founder of Global Tools, Riccardo Dalisi is one of the most influential partisans of anti-design. Riccardo Dalisi has also written several books on the subject, including in 1969 "L'Architettura della Imprevedibilità" (Unforeseeable Architecture) and in 1974 "Architettura d'Animazione" (Architecture with a Soul).
As a designer Riccardo Dalisi has worked for companies such as Zanotta, Alessi ("Caffettiera napoletana", 1979), Fiat, WMF, Rosenthal, Bisazza etc.