Artists & Designers

Mario Bellini (b. 1935)

Mario Bellini was born in Milan in 1935 and graduated with a degree in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic in 1959. In charge of design at La Rinascente (1961-63), he set up a studio of architecture and design in 1963 which is now called Mario Bellini Associates. He has worked for various companies, especially in the field of electronics, and has been in charge of Olivetti design since 1963. He received the first of eight Compasso d'Oro awards in 1962 for his first furniture design, a table. Like many other Italian architects, his activities range from architecture and urban planning to product and furniture design. In designing furniture for Cassina, B&B; Italia, Vitra, and other firms, he has thoroughly exploited new technologies, but he remarked, "I don't think that contemporary high technology necessarily means that we should have to sit on a piece of a mechanism." On the other hand he says, "we cannot go on making padded upholstery using nails and wooden frames. It would deny the present."

Since the 1980s he has devoted himself chiefly to architecture (Tokyo Design Center, 1988-92; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1996-2003). He is very active in the field of exhibition design at an international level, and has taught at the universities of Venice, Vienna, and Genoa.

Drawn from

  • "Mario Bellini," in Moma Members Quarterly 14 (Summer 1987), DMA Mayer Libray artist file.
  • Giampiero Bosoni, ed. il Modo Italiano. Milan: Skira Editore S.p.A., 2006.

Web Resources

Mario Bellini Associati
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