Italian Architect, Furniture Designer Antonio Citterio
To grasp Antonio Citterio’s design philosophy, is to understand him as a man first, before knowing him as a Milan Italian furniture designer and industrial designer. He is a graduate of the Politecnico di Milano in Architecture. Since 1972, his straight forward, no nonsense approach is reflected, and highly regarded, in his work for many high profile manufacturers such as Ansorg, B&B Italia, Hackmann, Hansgrohe, Inda, Pozzi e Ginori, Kartell, Vitra and more. Maxalto, A B&B Italia brand is designed entirely by Citterio.
He has designed interiors within Italy and abroad, applying a sophisticated attitude which has resulted in kaleidoscope of his work being represented throughout the international capitals of the world: Esprit’s headquarters in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Milan, a Vitra industrial plant in Germany, for Antonio Fusco in Milan. In the commercial space arena, he designed the Habitat store in London in 1996, and several other buildings throughout Europe and Japan.
Since founding Antonio Citterio and Partners in 1999, a multidisciplinary architecture and design studio, the offices have expanded to Hamburg. By continuing to teach, his style remains fresh and accommodating of new ideas and concepts. He has held teaching posts at Domus Academy in Milan, Universita La Sapienza in Rome and also at the Architecture Academy in Mendrisio. Several of his designs have become permanent parts of the collections at MOMA and the Centre di Pompdou in Paris.
He is likely to be found designing anywhere: a quiet place, an airplane, in one of his offices, but he has expressed many times that the most inspiring environment is among his colleagues, where an exchange of ideas (critical and complimentary) proves most beneficial.
Taking a look at one of his designs, the stand alone work station, “Vademecum” which he did for Vitra in 1998 – two key elements are evident: one, the work station is not hindered in being attached to a structure or wall, and second, it can be mobile. These components lend themselves to the ease of collaboration with your co-workers, providing an easy, natural venue to share ideas.
His best selling products are so because he designs for himself – and not according to marketing directives. “If I won’t surround myself with these things, I don’t make them”. Though he has designed hundreds of “pieces” he rather chooses to define them through longevity…the span of time that many companies have contracted him – “…27 years with B&B Italia, 15 years with Vitra and 15 years with Kartell”…achieving an understanding of the client’s needs – as he’s literally learned to speak their language.