PontiGio

Biography

Giovanni Ponti was one of Italy’s most important twentieth century designers. He was an architect, industrial designer, poet and painter and also founded Domus magazine. Ponti was born in 1891 in Milan, where he went on to study architecture at the Politecnico. After graduating he became art director of Richard-Ginori, a ceramics manufacturer and he won the Grand Prix at the Paris Expo in 1925.In 1928, Ponti founded Domus, a magazine that acted as a platform for him to share his latest inspirations and interests. Domus was an eclectic vision of modernity, promoting designers such as Carlo Mollino amongst others. He continued working on this magazine for the entirety of his career aside from 1941 to 1947 when he left in order to found another magazine called Stile.Towards the end of the 1920s, Ponti was also beginning to do more architectural work and built houses in Milan and Paris which, in turn, lead to bigger projects such as the mathematics department at Rome university in 1934 and the headquarters of Montecatini in 1936. Ponti’s architecture always combined form and function, creating modernist structures.In the 1950s, Ponti was designing furniture for Cassina with resounding success. In 1953 Ponti designed the Distex armchair and in 1957 his groundbreaking Superleggera chair which was light enough to lift on a single finger. In the same decade, he continued his architectural designs with the Villa Planchart in Caracas, the Pirelli Tower in Milan and the Alitalia offices in New York.Gio Ponti continued working into the 1960s and ‘70s designing buildings such as the San Francesco Church and the Denver Art Museum but is always particularly remembered for his earlier contributions to design and architecture. He passed away in his family home in 1979.

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