Alessandro Mendini – Mixing Cultures and Forms

Alessandro Mendini - Mixing Cultures and Forms Image

An influencer of Italian art, post-modernism, and the Radical Design movement, Alessandro Mendini has changed the world of art and design by mixing different mediums and ideas. As an innovative man, Mendini’s work has transformed the design world; his pieces and ideas have allowed other artists, following in his footsteps, to design with a renewed purpose.

Italian Emotional Approach To Product of Italian Design image
Italian Emotional Approach To Product of Italian Design


Alessandro Mendini was born in 1931 in Milan, Italy. Later in 1959, he graduated with a degree in architecture from Politecnico di Milano. His creative career only grew from there. Mendini has expanded his passion to forming furniture, painting, writing, and creating mixed media and graphics. His works of art and design are showcased in collections around the world, one of them being at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Possessing an intellectual, artistic, and revolutionary mind, Mendini continued to put his pen to paper while working for Domus, Casabella, and Modo magazines in Italy.

Italian Emotional Approach To Product of Italian Design Image
Alessandro Mendini In His Atelier

Projects Of Alessandro Mendini

What sets Mendini apart from others is the boundary-pushing approach to his art. Most notably, his Lassú chair, designed in 1974, expresses an opposition to the period’s adherence to functionalism. The chair is positioned on a slanted pyramid – a highly dysfunctional way of sitting down. While not physically comfortable, the chair did provide an intellectual seat for individuals to have a new outlook on life. 

Italian Emotional Approach To Product of Italian Design
Proust Chair For Cappellini By Alessandro Mendini – 1978

Furthermore, with the ritual burning of the chair, Mendini wanted to send a message; his work carries meaning beyond function – the chair acted as a channel of spirituality. Some of his other significant pieces of furniture includes the Proust armchair, a piece that expresses Mendini’s mixing of art with its hand-carved wood and multicoloured fabric upholstery.

Mendini’s work even transcends national borders. He has designed The Groninger Museum in The Netherlands (a critically acclaimed post-modern building), the Alessi residence in Italy, a memorial tower in Japan, and the Arosa Casino in Switzerland.

Alessandro Mendini - Mixing Cultures and Forms Image
Groninger Museum Designed By Alessandro Mendini – 1994

Alessandro Mendini’s revolutionary pieces have garnered him numerous awards and international recognition. He was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1979, 1981, and 2014. Moreover, for his contribution to the arts, the French Republic has given him the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. While Mendini runs the Atelier Mendini with his brother Francesco, he has also taught at the University of Milan. However, he has not stopped designing. One of his latest pieces, the RAMUN amuleto, is a lamp that mixes new LED technology with imaginative and bright colours. Evidently, Alessandro Mendini left, and continues to leave, a legacy of groundbreaking forms of art and design.


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