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Marco Zanuso

Biographies
Marco Zanuso

*  1916 Mailand
† 2001 Mailand


Marco Zanuso, Italian architect and designer, was born in Milan in 1916. From 1935 until 1939 he studied architecture at Milan Polytechnic. In 1945 Marco Zanuso opened a practice in Milan. Extremely prolific and versatile, Marco Zanuso worked as both an architect and urban planner. Importantly, Marco Zanuso was one of the most innovative postwar Italian designers. Marco Zanuso's designs are elegant and functional; he continued to experiment with new materials and production processes. In 1948 Marco Zanuso was commissioned by Pirelle to experiment with foam latex as seat upholstery material. Marco Zanuso designed several important pieces of furniture, including the "Antropus" (1949) and "Lady" armchairs and the "Triennale" sofa (the last two 1951), which were made by Arflex. From 1958 until 1977, the German designer Richard Sapper worked in Marco Zanuso's practice. The longstanding collaboration between Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso produced extremely imaginative designs for furniture, lamps, and electrical appliances. Between 1959 and 1964 Zanuso and Sapper designed the "Lambda" chair of diecast steel for Gavina. For Kartell, Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper developed a stackable children's chair (Model 4999/S, 1961-1964) of injection-molded polyethelene, the first piece of seat furniture made from that material. For Brionvega Sapper and Zanuso designed a cult radio, the cube-shaped "TS502" (1964) that opened out, as well as the "Doney" (1964), "Algol" (1965), and "Black Box" (1969) portable televisions. In 1966 Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper designed the "Grillo" telephone for Siemens. Marco Zanuso's best known architectural projects include the Olivetti factories in Buenos Aires and São Paulo (1955-1957), the Necchi office building in Pavia (1961/62), and IBM factory buildings in Segrate, Milan, and Palomba, built between 1974 and 1982. In 1946/47 Marco Zanuso was editor of "Domus" magazine and editor of "Casabella" until 1949. In 1956 Marco Zanuso was a founding member of the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI), of which he was president from 1966 until 1969.