"One of the most important industrial designers of the 20th century,
ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI (1918-2002) produced more than 150 products during his career
and forged enduring relationships with Italian manufacturers such as Flos in
lighting, Zanotta in furniture and Alessi in home products."
– excerpt from DesignMuseum.org
Our visit with Castiglioni's office was not at all an interview — it was so much more. This was perhaps the most impactful design moment of the trip, and we are very greatful to Castiglioni's family and Michelle of Park Associati for providing us with the experience.
The tour was led by Signora Irma Barni Castiglioni in the Piazza Castello studio studio, second wife to the late Achille Castiglioni. Upon entrance you felt as though the area was simply on a stand still, the space felt as though it had been left untouched since the death of Achille Castiglioni in December of 2002, and everything was in place as to his liking. The studio was filled with floor to ceiling shelves of magazines, records, prototypes, sketches and. The L shaped studio had a strategically placed mirror in the corner which allowed Castiglioni to see from one end of the studio, the conference room, to the other, the model room. The studio contains a glass cabinet filled with toys and simple everyday found objects that he collected, such as various pairs of sunglasses, and shoes. He took a pair of foam hotel slippers and created an armchair with its simple design for Moroso in 1999. He kept all of these items because he thought it would be useful for his lessons and help explain his concepts, that simple everyday items can inspire the creation iconic industrial design pieces. By exploring his space you are able to really get a sense of how his creative genius worked. A sort of organized chaos is displayed, but it allowed for so production and inspiration. The space is an excellent place for students and designers to visit. It is currently lead by Irma Barni Castiglioni, Dianella Gobatto, and Antonella Gornati.