Michele De Lucchi

“For me, as an architect and designer, the real topic of the time is to investigate—and to better understand in a theoretical way—the difference between temporality and eternity, what has to be temporary and what has to be permanent.”

A designer, architect and writer, Michele De Lucchi (born in 1951) is one of the greatest representatives of Italian design of the last few decades. He is equally known for extraordinary architectural works, artistic installations and designs of iconic products such as the Tolomeo lamp (the world’s most sold lamp of all time, produced by Artemide since 1987) for which Michelle De Lucchi won his first of four Compasso d’Oros. Michelle won the competitions for the redevelopment of the German railway stations and the renovation of the Deutsche Bank offices. He has made significant contributions to international installations, art exhibitions and museums such as the Triennale di Milano, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Cini Foundation in Venice, and the Gallerie d’Italia – Piazza Scala, the Museo della Pietà Rondanini and Casa Manzoni in Milan.

Michelle De Lucchi also worked on developing the corporate image for companies such as Poste Italiane, Telecom Italia, Hera, Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit. Many of his works are exhibited in some of the most important design museums in Europe, the USA and Japan, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, which bought a large number of them in 2003. The number of extraordinary projects, awards and accolades of Michelle De Lucchi would require much more space to list than the format of this catalogue permits.

Born in Ferrara, Michelle De Lucchi graduated in architecture in Florence and then became an assistant to the Design course held by Adolfo Natalini, one of the leading exponents of radical architecture. His affinity with the ideas and experimentations of this influential avantgarde movement inspired him to establish the Cavart group, which staged performances somewhere between art and architecture in the stone quarries of Veneto. Between 1976 and 1977, he taught industrial design at the Florence University of the Arts. Having met Ettore Sottsass in 1979, Michelle joined the rebellious Memphis group, while the following year he set up his own business. In those years, he also had important experiences with Centrokappa and Alchimia. In a short time, De Lucchi joined some of the largest Italian industrial groups at the time, in particular Olivetti, where he headed the design office for 14 years and gained extensive experience in the office world, creating a wide range of furniture, computers and furnishings.

Throughout his long career, De Lucchi has designed objects and furniture for well-known Italian and European companies, such as Artemide, Alias, Unifor, Hermès, Vitra, Poltrona Frau and Alessi. In the field of information technology, in addition to Olivetti, he has developed experimental projects for Compaq Computers, Philips, Siemens and Vitra, “developing various personal theories on the evolution of the office”.

Zanat CEO, Orhan Nikšić, recounts his first meeting with Michelle De Lucchi in his office in Milan in October 2019, when Michelle stated that he sees what we do at Zanat as heroic and wants to help us “become even bigger heros.” Working with an extraordinary design genius and architect such as Michelle De Luchhi, who also happens to be impassioned with woodwork is a privilege and honor.

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