Andrea Branzi (Florence, 1938 – Milan, 2023) was an architect, designer and artist. Fascinated by the way man interacts with objects, the design culture he has created interweaves narratives and points of view in which nature and culture interact experimentally, poetically and ironically with architecture, design, the visual arts, urban planning and education.
From 1966 to 1974 he was a founding member of the experimental group Archizoom, and participated in the avant-garde movement of Architettura Radicale [Radical Architecture].
Since 1974, he has lived and worked in Milan, where he pursued a career as an independent designer. This led him to becoming a core member of the Nuovo Design Italiano movement. He was also a key member of Studio Alchimia, founded in 1976, and worked with the Memphis Group in the early 1980s.
Fascinated by the contrast between industrial processes and natural products, in the mid-1980s Branzi departed from the aesthetics of postmodern design. His works, piazzas that are like circuses for events, personifications and play, offset an immobile and authoritarian idea of the human being with a subtle dance that stages and relates the sacred, history, life and death.
Branzi has written numerous books about design, as well as many philosophical pieces on urbanism, in an attempt to reconcile design and architecture with the evolving challenges of contemporary society.
He has the distinction of being a co-founder of the Domus Academy, the first international post-graduate school of design, and was professor and president of the School of Interior Design at the Milan Polytechnic until 2009.
He has received many honours and awards, thrice winning the Compasso d’Oro, including a lifetime achievement award. In 2008, he was awarded the Laurea Honoris Causa in Design by the Sapienza University of Rome and was appointed Honorary Royal Designer in the United Kingdom.
His works are in collections in the world’s most prestigious museums, such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the MoMA in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, the Italian Design Museum at the Triennale in Milan, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal.
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