Made in Italy Designer Furniture

Posted on 21 January in

Discover the vast world of Italian design through designer furniture and high-end interiors. Perhaps you already own Made in Italy furniture pieces or have interest in starting your own collection. No matter your objective, follow along with Esperiri and get inspired while learning about Made in Italy manufacturers, contemporary Italian designers, and design culture.

Furniture Made in Italy: a synonym of quality and innovation

Italians are known for creating with passion and creativity. They allow their curiosity to lead the way, which has paved a significant path for the Italian furniture industry. Made in Italy furniture has made a name for itself with high quality of materials and design. What was developed through skill and craftsmanship has not been left to stale. Brands have continued to embrace change and use tradition alongside technology to keep their creations unique and on trend without becoming trite.

Made in Italy Furniture: Brands and Manufacturers

Italian furniture is manufactured by Italian brands such as: Molteni, Cassina, Arflex, Cappellini, Zanotta, B&B Italia, Giorgetti, Natuzzi, and Porro. These brands have formed reciprocal relationships promoting both Italian as well as international architects and designers. By employing them in various roles within their company, both the brand and designer benefit. Examples of this include Vincent Van Duysen as Creative Director of Molteni&C as well as Art Director for Cassina, Patricia Urquiola.

Renowned Italian Design Masters from yesteryear have left their mark on the international scene. Their curiosity and innovative ideas propelled Italy to become the major exporter and source for inspiration it continues to be today. Thanks to their success, Made in Italy furniture now, more or less, sells itself on its reputation. The high-end industry celebrates this history, taking inspiration and updating classic pieces that have withstood the test of time.

Franco Albini’s 834 Cicognino designed in 1953, produced 2008.
Available in: American walnut, natural ashwood, or ashwood stained black.
Marco Zanuso’s 1951 design of the Lady armchair for Arflex. It won gold medal at
IX Milan Triennale. New and contemporary fabrics designed by Raf Simons
have reintroduced this modern icon.
Gio Ponti’s D.655.2: white drawers with handles of various woods (elm, Italian walnut, mahogany, rosewood) on elmwood frame and D.153.1 armchair in black leather.

Italian design can really take any shape of style – classic, modern, contemporary, luxury, or avant-garde. Its success is also due in part to its flexibility, exemplified by the company Kartell, which was an automobile accessories company, but with help from designer Anna Castelli Ferrieri, became a popular brand of plastic furniture. At the time this epitomized modern design. For this reason, it’s not likely that millennial generations will ignore what came before them, but rather continue as consumers and designers of Italian luxury furniture. What was important to earlier generations was reflected in Italian design and Millennial issues will also be apparent in the future.

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Italian Design and Culture

Design is a part of our everyday lives, though not all people are as attuned to this as Italians. The global cultural understanding of design has been promoted by not only Italian designers, but design authorities such as Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. She trained as an architect at Politecnico di Milano, as many Italian architects and designers do, and has paved a unique path for herself as an author, speaker, and curator defending, defining, and sharing stories from the world of design.

“Designers stand between revolutions and everyday life”

Paola Antonelli

Progress is necessary for design and design is necessary for progress. Examples of this can be seen through the addition 3D printed products, as featured at Milan Design Week 2018. Designers and producers thrive on innovations to push their fields forward.

Sustainability and social responsibility will continue to have an effect on the design industry, including their production and distribution, between fashion and furniture. Italian design has always moved alongside the times, embracing technology and new materials to showcase collections and pieces of luxurious furniture. Just as culture evolves, so too will design.

Contemporary Italian Furniture Designers

Italian design is surely changing and wonderfully diversifying to include young designers, more women, and international designers who study, train, work, and live in Italy. A well-known star of the Milan design scene is Spanish born, Patricia Urquiola. She decided to remain in Italy after studying here and finding a mentor in Achille Castiglioni. Urquiola has since caught acclaim designing for some of the best Italian brands. Her unique style lends itself well to furniture, accessories, home decor, and more.

Varese native Derek Castiglioni worked for years in his family’s landscaping and plant business, studied in Milan, then traveled on his own to cultivate his curiosities. He recently designed his debut collection of outdoor furniture, inspired by Licuala Chinese palm plants. This younger generation is pursuing and pushing design forward.

Derek Castiglioni’s Aquiloni Collection Table and Chairs

Made in Italy is synonymous with luxury. Some objects are given the air of exclusivity simply because they are Italian. It’s not only Italian luxury, but also lifestyle that is a draw to so many. The story of Italy, through its culture, traditions, high quality, and designers, is entertaining and also inspiring. Travelers and consumers alike are entranced by it. And what are designers but storytellers? One thing is certain; there are more stories to be told and more to be Made in Italy.

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