By Anne Leader and Livia Lupi

Happy birthday to Alessandro Mendini, Italian architect and designer born on 16 August 1931 in Milan. Formerly a spokesman for the radical Italian design group Alchimia, Mendini has created designs for the Swarovski Austrian Glass Company and for the Italian homeware company Alessi. He also designed furniture, planned spaces, installations, and buildings as head of the Mendini Atelier, which he founded in 1989.

His work is scattered across the globe, including a memorial tower in Hiroshima and the Groningen Museum in Amsterdam, which is considered to be a pivotal postmodern building and was selected as one of the “1001 Builings You Must See Before You Die.” Mendini has been awarded several international prizes, including the Compasso d’Oro, which he won three times, an honorary title from the Architectural League of New York, and the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Republic. 

Further reading:
Alessandro Mendini: Minimum Design by Graziella Leyla Ciaga.
Alessandro Mendini by Peter Weibel, Angelika Nollert, and Alessandro Mendini.

Portrait of Alessandro Mendini

Posacenere (Ashtray), issued 1989, retired 1998, Daniel Swarovski Object, Edition of 500

Lots of Dots Swatch

Proust Armchair (Poltrona di Proust), 1978, painted wood, painted upholstery

Groninger Museum, The Netherlands

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