Mario Bellini graduated from the Politecnico di Milano - Faculty of architecture in Milan in 1959 and began working as an architect himself in the early Sixties. Like many other Italian architects, his activities range from architecture and urban planning to product and furniture design.
His early international success grew rapidly during the first two decades, especially in the design sector, and reached its peak in 1987 with the greatest acknowledgement expressed in a personal retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of New York, which at the time already included 25 of his works in its Permanent Collection, including a remarkable set of Olivetti machines as well as the furniture for B&B and Cassina - such as the famous Cab chair - and the innovative office chairs designed for Vitra.
His career as a product and furniture designer began in 1963. From 1963 to 1991 he was chief design consultant for Olivetti. For many years he designed furnishing products and systems for B&B Italia and Cassina, TV sets for Brionvega, and hi-fi systems and electric organs for Yamaha. For 5 years he worked as an automobile design consultant with Renault. In 1972 he was commissioned to design and build the prototype of the Kar-a-Sutra mobile environment for the exhibition "Italy: the New Domestic Landscape" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has also designed for Fiat and Lancia, lamps for Artemide, Erco and Flos, and office furniture for Vitra.