Franco Albini

Franco Albini (1905-1977) was an Italian Neo-Rationalist architect and designer.
A native of Robbiate, near Milan, Albini obtained his degree in architecture at Politecnico di Milano University in 1929 and began his professional career working for Gio Ponti. He started displaying his works at Milan Triennale. In 1930 he opened his own practice. Through his creations, the modern furniture design merged the Italian traditional artisanship with the new forms of modernism. In his creations, he used raw, inexpensive materials. He exploited the very skilled Italian craftsmanship. This also meant an elegant design based on a minimalist aesthetic. One of the first, successful works in 1939 was a radio, made of lucite, so to show its internal components. In 1950 Albini designed the famous and fashionable Margherita and Gala chairs, made of woven cane. In 1952 he created the Fiorenza armchair for Arflex; in 1955 the Luisa chair; in 1956 the Rocking chaise for Poggi. In the 1960s he worked on industrial design as well as important architectural projects. In 1961 he designed the Rome Rinascente building. Three years later he designed with a team of experts many Milan subway stations. In 1964 the television set he created for Brionvega was displayed at the Milan Triennial. In the same year, he created various lamps for Arteluce. Albini obtained three Compasso d'Oro awards, the most prestigious Italian design prize.