ANGELO MANGIAROTTI.. A STYLE ICON
Happiness comes from fairness ...
... with this sentence by Angelo Mangiarotti I want to begin this new article, describing an absolutely eclectic man and architect on the national and international scene. The career of this man has the particularity of intersecting with art, architecture, design and engineering.
Born in Milan on February 26, 1921.
In 1948 he graduated in architecture from the Polytechnic of the same city. In the years 1953-1954 he worked professionally in the United States participating, among other things, in the competition for the "LOOP" in Chicago. During this period abroad he met Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Konrad Wachsmann.
In 1955, returning from the United States, he opened a studio in Milan with Bruno Morassuti until 1960. In 1989 he created the Mangiarotti & Associates Office based in Tokyo.
From 1986 to 1992 he was the art director of Colle Cristalleria.
Mangiarotti combines his professional activity, of which works are published in books, specialized magazines and newspapers, with an intense teaching activity carried out in Italian and foreign universities. In 1953-1954 he was visiting professor at the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago; in 1963-1964 he held a course at the Higher Institute of Industrial Design in Venice; in 1970 he was visiting professor at the University of Hawaii; in 1974 at the Ecole Politecnique Fédérale in Lausanne, in 1976 at the University of Adelaide and at the South Australian Institute of Technology in Adelaide; in 1982 he was contract professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Palermo; in 1983 he was alternate professor at the Chair of Composition at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, in 1989-90 he was contract professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Milan; in 1997 he was adjunct professor at the degree course in Industrial Design of the Faculty of Architecture of the Politecnico di Milano. He holds numerous seminars and conferences internationally.
Mangiarotti's design activity, whose theoretical foundations were expressed in the book "In the name of architecture" published in 1987, tends to highlight the intrinsic characteristics of each object, how only an "objective" design is able to avoid prevarication towards its users in order to become collectively recognizable. The architectural language becomes the expression of a new relationship between man and the environment, while in the activity of designer Mangiarotti reserves a very important role to plastic research. The goal of his research, always conducted in strict compliance with the characteristics of the material, is the definition of the shape of the object intended as the quality of the material.
He died in Milan on June 30, 2012.
The design activity is marked by numerous awards in both the design and construction fields:
Domus Formica Award (1956)
In / Arch Award for Lombardy (1962)
First National Prize of the Gulf of La Spezia for Industrial Design (1963)
AIP Award - Italian Prefabricators Association (1972)
Prix Européen de la Construction Métallique (1979)
Medal and honorary diploma at the III World Architecture Biennial in Sofia (1986)
Prize "Targa Alcan Competition" (1989)
Special Mention In / Arch National Award (1989)
Design Plus Award for the "Ergonomica" collection (1991)
Marble Architectural Awards (1994)
Compasso d'Oro ADI Lifetime Achievement (1994)
Degree "Honoris Causa" in Engineering - Faculty of Architecture. Technischen Universitat of Munich (1998)
Gold medal for architecture category - Academy of the Carrara Tower (1998)
Degree "Honoris Causa" in Industrial Design - Faculty of Architecture. Polytechnic of Milan (2002)
Gold medal for "Apostolo del Design" from Rima Editrice (2006)
Marble Architectural Awards 2007, special mention
"ArchitettiVerona" Award from the Order of Architects P.P.C. of Verona (2009)
THE ICONIC PIECES:
Designed by Angelo Mangiarotti for Artemide, the Lesbo lamp represents one of the symbols of the made in Italy design of the 70s. The name is an important start, the Greek island where the poet Saffo lived, the project combines some recurring themes in the designer's work: the skilful use of glass and the sculptural mushroom shape. It consists of a very simple annular base in chromed metal that supports the diffuser, made of mouth-blown Murano glass to create suggestive interactions with the light. The white surface of the diffuser has a suitably shaded gradation that allows to hide the light source and at the same time helps to direct the beam upwards. The effect is perfect for an atmosphere lamp, with the emission of a soft light that enhances the material characteristics of the glass.
- Secticon clocks
In 1956 Angelo Mangiarotti in collaboration with the Portescap company, designed the Secticons, a range of 6 different models of clocks, 4 table clocks and 2 wall clocks; with plastic shells for T1, T2, C1, M1 models and with steel shells for M2 and T11 models. The watches were produced in Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland by Le Porte-Echappement Universale. The electromechanical “Portescap” movement was enclosed in a transparent plastic box, deliberately chosen to leave the mechanism visible during operation. It is an electromechanical movement with a balance wheel. A lever, moved to the left, makes the balance wheel oscillate, which activates the wheel that beats half a second at a time.
- Eros tables
Tables in different configurations and heights made of white Carrara marble, Carnico gray marble, black Marquina marble, green Alpi marble or dark Emperador marble. With one or more truncated conical supports embedded in the top depending on the shape: square, rectangular, oval , round or triangular.
A system of marble tables as the culmination of a research on interlocking furniture without joints or locks: for the Eros tables the construction solution involves a gravity joint between top and leg, obtained thanks to the truncated conical section of the leg that easily accommodates the top, locking it in the established position, while the weight of the material increases the tightness of the joint and the stability of the entire structure. A system conceived with many different shapes and sizes, each with a peculiar joint point, and where the elegant design of the open slots on the perimeters and at the corners of the tops is determined by the elimination of the most fragile parts that would not have withstood stress: a sophisticated detail and a key to a true constructive invention.
A furnishing system made entirely of wood, imagined and patented more than fifty years ago, and which still has not ceased to amaze with its versatility and functionality. The characteristic module is a trestle element with a particular inverted V shape, precisely for this reason it can be overlapped thanks to a simple gravity joint, and which can accomodate shelves for bookcases or closed containers through a particular perimeter section, blocking and holding them to itself through a real "coda di rondine” joint. Much loved at the time of its debut, published by the major international magazines of the time, present in many designer furnishings of those years, the "Easel" system now comes back to life, evidently evergreen in the soul.
Get passionate about the fresh and young mood of this eclectic designer!
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