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Alessandro Mendini

Alessandro Mendini

*  1931 Mailand

The prolific Italian designer, architect, and theorist Alessandro Mendini played a pivotal role in the development of 1970s and 1980s Italian design. Mendini became a major theorist and a driving force behind avant-garde design in Italy. Born in Milan in 1931, Alessandro Mendini finished studying architecture at Milan Polytechnic in 1959. From 1970 until 1976 Mendini was editor of the architecture magazine "Casabella" and, from 1977 until 1981, editor of "Modo". From 1979-1985 Alessandro Mendini was the publisher of "Domus" magazine. In 1973 Alessandro Mendini became a founding member of the "Global Tools" group and, in 1978, of Studio Alchimia. That same year Alessandro Mendini launched his redesigns. Convinced that modern design was fast fizzling out with no more possibilities for important innovation, Alessandro Mendini transformed some modern classics with tongue-in-cheek wit, by putting new decoration on the classic Marcel Breuer "Wassily" chair as well as a Thonet chair. Alessandro Mendini added little flags to the Gio Ponti "Superleggera" chair and painted the Joe Colombo "Universale" chair to simulate marble. Another Alessandro Mendini work dating from 1978 is the "Proust" chair. In 1980 Alessandro Mendini organized the the exhibition "L'oggetto banale" for the Venice Biennale. In 1981 Alessandro Mendini designed (for Cassina) "Mobile infinito" range. In 1983 Alessandro Mendini collaborated with Achille Castiglioni and the star architect Aldo Rossi on the "Casa della Felicitā" for Alessi. Another collective interdisciplinary project of Alessandro Mendini's was the museum in Groningen, NL, with Philippe Starck, Frank Stella, and Michele de Lucchi (1988-1993).