Pier Giacomo Castiglioni 2023
This year is the 110’ Anniversary of Pier Giacomo Castiglioni's birth. He was an emblematic figure of the Italian rationalism movement and has been address to the best designer of 20th Century.
Castiglioni is recognized as a leading figure in the world of international design with works permanently exhibited in the most prestigious museums. Awarded with awards of great importance, among which we remember the numerous Compassi d'Oro, of which the last one was attributed in 2020 to the Arco Lamp with the following motivation: “Type type innovation in the lighting sector, it has been able over time to become an icon for the entire Italian design in the world.“
To retrace Pier Giacomo’s approach and contribution to modern design, we spoke with his daughter Giorgina Gastiglioni. She has created a new platform to keep all the relevant information about her father.
The important database also includes Dino Gavina's book from 1998, which celebrates and remembers Castiglioni 30 years after his death. She collects the material of the life of Pier Giacomo Castiglioni through direct testimonies, articles, essays, books, and all the documentation (including audio and video) available to offer it in consultation with the public. If you find something of interest to everyone, please let us know via this form.
Full version of the book by Dino Gavina
Giorgina would remember "his unique graphic illustrations of how to park a car, he would draw on a sheet of paper the movements of the front and rear wheels required for executing a perfect manoeuvre: driving lessons at the drawing table! He taught me about the properties of materials through games, using small sticks of wood, such as matches or toothpicks, that he bent and joined to form a star; by pouring a drop of water in the centre, the wood sticks would surprisingly expand and spread out, making interesting shapes."
"Pier Giacomo had a passion for manual dexterity games. For example, he would often create balancing shapes on his drawing table using pencils, chalk and clay. He would take heliographic paper, place various objects on it and expose it to the sun: when he removed the objects shortly after, their outlines were imprinted on the faded paper," describes Giorgina Castiglioni in the catalogue of her father's anniversary and continues "when I was little, he introduced me to various means of artistic expression,
such as watercolours, tempera, clay and ink, but he always encouraged me to take the initiative in using them and experimenting. He rarely intruded to suggest tricks of the trade."
Typological innovation in the lighting sector, the ARCO lamp has been able over time to become an icon for the entire Italian design in the world.
His design and architecture opus is immense and you can dive into it on the page prepared for the anniversary of this amazing designer.
"Drawing was always one of Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s most frequently used means of communication," writes Giorgina in the catalogue, "when communicating a thought, my father often used the graphic medium to convey concepts in a clearer and more immediate way. Rather than a natural gift, it was a skill which he developed over time through continuous practice and which enabled him to express any idea at the same time as his pencil moved across the paper."
Giorgina also remembers how the entire Castiglioni family worked in an old building located near the Fatebenefratelli Hospital: "On the left, there was the studio where my grandfather made medals and medium-sized sculptures and across from the sculptor’s door was the entrance to the Pier Giacomo and Achille’s architect studio. At the back, there was Livio’s space and then another studio belonging to my uncle Tullio Emanueli, an engineer with a passion for aeronautics. A wide avenue led to my grandfather’s other workshop, adjacent to the Swiss school, still located at Via Appiani, 21, Milan. On the first floor, my grandmother took care of household chores, assisted by the trusted Rachele."