Andrea Branzi, furniture designer and architect was born in Florence in 1938. In his native city, he studied architecture and has become an influential theorist in the Italian design scene. Collaborating with Paolo Deganello, Gilberto Corretti and Massimo Morozzi, he founded Archizoom Associati in 1966, a voice of the Italian radical design movement. The name was borrowed from a British firm of architects known as Archigram and the publication “Zoom”.
The group achieved international prominence through numerous projects and essays reflecting their ideas of radical architecture – the group’s effort for technology-based methods applied to urban design. Archizoom created furniture in the “anti-design” style notably reflected in its introduction of the Superonda and Safari sofas (1968) and seating furniture, for Poltronova, combining modular flexibility with plastic and leopard-skin finishes and San Remo, the palm-frond lamp. The group dedicated its efforts to continue to stimulate individual creativity. The exhibit at the Centre for Electric Conspiracy, previewed closed, fragranced meditation areas featuring exotic objects from different cultures. Keeping with this minimalist theme, a room presented at Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, held at MOMA, New York in 1972, featured the voice of a girl describing light and colour in a beautiful house – leaving the listener to create his own imagery. The group’s creative talent was evident in two Italian films focusing on dress as a theme, and was one of the last collaborations before disbanding in 1974.
His designs have encompassed the “Century” sofa, 1982, as well as ceramics for Memphis. In the furniture design venue, “Animali Domestici” (Domestic Animals), 1985, his designed chairs with backs made from pieces of branches. Shortly after, Branzi published a book with the same title, in which he gave voice to the thought that man create a new relationship with his environment – to be comfortable with furniture as a “domestic pet”.
Branzi has also collaborated with many Italian architecture magazines, notably ‘Domus’ and ‘Casabella’, and from 1983-1987, was editor of MODO. ‘Domus Academy’, which he co-founded in 1983, was the first international post-graduate school of design.