Antonio Citterio: Balancing Need & Want with Lighting Designs

Designer Antonio Citterio

"I make things for myself, I don’t work with marketing instructions...if I won't surround myself with these things, I don't make them. Don’t force it, if it doesn't work, don't do it. You can't whip the cream? It doesn’t matter!"

That’s what Italian architect and furniture & industrial designer Antonio Citterio said was the secret behind his many best selling designs in an interview with Designboom. Born in the Italian city of Meda in 1950, this designer has been producing items ranging from furniture, light fixtures and bathroom fittings to entire buildings that have captured the imagination of the industry.

His meteoric rise as a successful architect and one of the most sought-after industrial designers in the world is clear from the illustrious list of clients he works with. Many Italian and international design brands including Vitra, B&B Italia, Ansorg, Arclinea, Axor/Hansgrohe, Aubrilam, Flexform, Fusital, Guzzini, Iittala, Inda, Kartell, Maxalto, Sanitec Group/Pozzi Ginori, Simon Urmet, Technogym, Tre Più, and FLOS have been selling his chic urban designs for years.

Clessidra Wall Sconce

It is reflective of his raw talent and business acumen that he opened his first design studio focused on industrial design in 1972 at the young age of 22 even before he had graduated. He went on to complete his degree in architecture at Milan’s Politecnico di Milano in 1975. 

By 1981, he was designing full-blown architectural projects. Between 1987 and 1996, he collaborated with Terry Dawn to design many buildings across Europe and Japan. Citterio, along with Patricia Viel, formed another company called 'Antonio Citterio and Partners' in 1999. 

This was envisaged as a multidisciplinary office for architecture, industrial design and graphics, and continues to undertake projects for residential, commercial and industrial spaces in addition to planning the restructuring and conservation of public buildings.

Clessidra wall sconce is an up/down light

Kelvin LED Lights

The studio also undertakes interior design projects for offices, showrooms and hotels. In fact, Citterio has been associated with numerous luxury properties the world over including the highly-acclaimed Bulgari chain of hotels.

Over the years, he has received many awards and honors for his work including the prestigious Compasso d'Oro in 1987 and 1995. He was also given the title of 'Royal Designer' by the British Royal Society for his Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce of London.

The best-selling Kelvin LED

Belevedere Outdoor Lighting

Father of two and boss to nearly 50 employees, Antonio Citterio insists that he is an architect, first and foremost. He avoids using the word "style" and draws his inspiration from everyday life. It is this humility, simplicity and his quest for authentic work that draws clients from across continents to him.

Belevedere outdoor lighting

Antonio Citterio: Balancing Need & Want with Lighting Designs

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