Balancing German rigour and French decorative flair, Italian manufacturers leave their stamp on the history of international design.
Magis's success is grounded in a desire to offer affordable home products of high functional and technological quality, coupled with a vision not only aesthetic but ethical and poetical too. It develops projects in association with top international designers such as Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Marc Newson, Ron Arad, Naoto Fukasawa, Marcel Wanders, Philippe Starck and Zaha Hadid.
Founded in 1946, Cappellini offers collections that allow customers to fit out their entire home from lounge to bedrooms. It excels too in producing modular furniture that combines design, technology and knowhow so as to fulfil customers' needs. Some of their products have become international icons displayed in museums around the world, notably the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the MoMA in New York and the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris.
This young firm was born in 2009 of the Confidati family's passion for stylish outdoor living. After opening the Moutan Botanical Centre, which houses the world's largest collection of peonies, in the Nineties, the Confidatis began developing collections of outdoor furniture for the parts of the Centre open to the public. This led them to launch Ethimo a few years later. Today synonymous with Italian-style outdoor living, it favours aluminium, steel and teak, materials that combine excellent technical qualities with great flexibility of use plus elegant looks.
Known for its "Human Light" philosophy, the group founded in 1960 by Ernesto Gismondi has made a considerable contribution to international design history through such products as Eclisse (1967, Vico Magistretti), Tolomeo (1989, Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina) and Pipe (2004, di Herzog & De Meuron), all Compasso d’Oro winners. In 1994 Artemide received the Compasso d’Oro career award and in 1997 the prestigious European Design Prize. Artemide's lamps are considered icons of contemporary design and figure in many of the world's modern art museums and design collections.
For more than 100 years Poltrona Frau's signature has been the artisan techniques employed in producing its collections. This knowhow passed down from generation to generation forms the basis of a design imbued with the qualities peculiar to the arts and crafts but interpreted through contemporary forms and always associated with research into materials, particularly to obtain the best from leather.
From the start, in 1966, B&B Italia established itself as a leader in the contemporary furnishings market, focused on creating products that are “timeless” and “enduring”, with innovation playing a major role. These qualities have won the company numerous prizes both in Italy and abroad, including four Compasso d’Oro awards, the highest accolade in Italian industrial design.
This company has been imagining the future for 89 years, ever since Cesare and Umberto Cassina started it at Meda (near Milan) in 1927. In the Fifties Cassina paved the way for industrial design in Italy, being one of the first to invite architects and designers to work on new products. As a manufacturer two collections symbolise it: I Maestri paying tribute to great masters (Le Corbusier, Wright, etc.) and I Contemporanei focused on innovation.