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Andrea Branzi

Andrea Branzi

*  1938 Florenz

The designer and architect Andrea Branzi, who studied architecture in his native Florence, is an important theorist in the Italian design scene. With Paolo Deganello, Gilberto Corretti, and Massimo Morozzi, Andrea Branzi founded Archizoom Associati in Florence in 1966. The firm took its name from the British group of architects known as Archigram and the journal "Zoom". Archizoom belonged to the Italian radical design movement. With their designs, the members of Archizoom protested against Good Design, creating furniture in an anti-design style, such as the seating furniture "Safari" and the palm-frond lamp "San Remo" (both 1968 for Poltronova). In launching plans for radical urban planning projects such as "Wind City" (1969) and "No-Stop City" (1970), Archizoom wanted to demonstrate that extreme radicalism only achieves the opposite of what it wants, that is, it becomes anti-rational. In the 1970s Andrea Branzi was also preoccupied with theoretical issues as editor of "Casabella" magazine. In 1973 Andrea Branzi opened a design studio in Milan. In the mid-1970s Branzi collaborated on Riccardo Dalisi's didactic project Global Tools. In 1977 Andrea Branzi joined Michele de Lucchi and Paola Navone in organizing the exhibition "Il Disegno Italiano degli anni 50" (1950s Italian Design) in Naviglio. This exhibition reorientated postwar Italian design and exerted a strong pull on 1980s design. In 1979 Andrea Branzi showed work with the Studio Alchimia group. Andrea Branzi designed the "Century" sofa (1982) and ceramics for Memphis. For Zanotta Andrea Branzi designed the furniture range "Animali Domestici" (1985), which featured chairs with backs made of pieces of branches. In 1987 Andrea Branzi published a book with the same title, in which he called for a new relationship between man and his environment. Man should have no qualms about using furniture as domestic pets. In 1987 Andrea Branzi was awarded the Compasso d'Oro Speciale for his life's work as a designer and theorist.