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Cersaie 2012: Conferences and Seminars
Alberto Meda: Poetic Engineering

Wednesday 26 September - 3.00 p.m.
Galleria dell'Architettura - Gallery 25/26

In cooperation with Bologna Water Design


Speaker Alberto Meda More
Alberto Meda, one of the most representative figures in the field of contemporary Italian design, will discuss his design process which involves using technology in a light-hearted way to solve complex problems and create simple and natural forms. Shunning formal virtuosity, he adopts only the tools that are strictly necessary to give shape and poetry to an object.

Alberto Meda


Biographical notes
Born in Tremezzina (Como) in 1945, Alberto Meda graduated in mechanical engineering from Milan Polytechnic in 1969.
In 1973 he became technical director of Kartell, heading up product development of the labware division and the furnishing accessories division. In 1979 he became a freelance designer, collaborating with Brevetti Gaggia and for four years from 1981 onwards working on the design of Alfa Romeo cars.
He currently works as an industrial designer with a number of companies including Alias, Alessi, Arabia-Finland, Cinelli, Colombodesign, Italtel Telematica, JcDecaux, Mandarina Duck, Ideal Standard, Luceplan, Kartell, Omron Japan, Philips, Olivetti. Kohl and Vitra.

 “Creativitalia” (Tokyo 1990) and a personal exhibition at the Design Gallery of Matzuia Ginza (Tokyo 1990).  
18th Triennale, ‘La leggerezza’ section of ‘Il Giardino dellle cose’ (Milan 1992)
“Mestieri d’autore” (Siena 1993)
“Mutant materials in contemporary design” at MOMA (New York 1995)
“Meda-Rizzatto” at Galerie Binnen (Amsterdam 1996)
Personal exhibition at the Salon du Meuble (Paris 1999)
 “Italy and Japan, design as lifestyle” (Yokohama , Kobe 2001)

Teaching and research activities
From 1983 to 1987 lecturer in industrial technologies at Domus Academy
From 1995 to 1997, lecturer on the Degree Course in Industrial Design at Milan Polytechnic with a design workshop
From 1995 to 1997, member of the board of directors of Designlabor of Bremerhaven
From 2003 to 2007 lecturer at the IUAV in Venice with a design workshop on the master’s course in industrial design
Numerous conferences and seminars in Europe, Japan and the United States, including Chicago, St. Louis, the Washington University School of Architecture, Stockholm (with a workshop entitled ‘And now….”), Boisbuchet, Miami, Sao Paulo, Ulm. Istanbul, Toronto, and Mexico.

1989 Compasso d’Oro for the Lola lamp series, in 1994 for the Metropoli series and in 2008 for the Mix lamp by Luceplan
1992 Design Plus Internationale for the Titania lamp by Luceplan
1994 European Design Prize for his work with Luceplan.
1997 I.D. design review – “Best of category” for Meda chair for Vitra
1998 Good design Gold Prize-Japan with Vitra - Meda chair
1999 Designer of the year - Salon du Meuble de Paris
2000 Bundespreis Produktdesign 2000/2001 with Meda chair
2001 Good Design Award Chicago Athenaeum with Arabia’s Water
2003  Reddot Award for Iittala knives, Finland
2005  Hon. Royal Designer for Industry, London RSA
2006 Design Plus and Light of the future for MIX lamp by Luceplan
2007  INDEX: award with Solar Bottle
2011 Compasso d’Oro with Teak table by Alias
2012 Design Plus with Otto Watt by Luceplan

Since 1994, the chairs Light light 1987, Soft light 1989 and Longframe 1991 for Alias and the On-Off lamp 1988 for Luceplan have featured in the Design Collection at MOMA - Museum of Modern Art of New York.

Alberto Meda by Francesca Picchi
Collana Prontuario- Abitare Segesta edizioni- 2003
Il design di Alberto Meda-Una concreta leggerezza
By Domitilla Dardi , Ed. Electa 2005
Alberto Meda -I protagonisti del design- Hachette 2012

He lives and works in Milan.

Moderator Valerio Castelli More

Valerio Castelli

Design Library

Biographical notes
1972 He graduated in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic.
1972 -1984 He founded and directed CentroKappa, a multidisciplinary consulting firm in the field of business communication. During this period he collaborated with a number of young designers at Centrokappa including Michele De lucchi, Alberto Meda, Paola Navone and Franco Raggi.
1977 He invented the name and brand Flou, remaining its art director until 2005.
1977   Together with Alessandro Mendini he founded the design magazine Modo, filling the role of art director for five years.
1979 With Centrokappa he won the Compasso d’oro award for design research and promotion of Italian design.
1983  Together with Maria Grazia Mazzocchi and Alessandro Guerriero he founded the first postgraduate design school Domus Academy.

1984- 2006 Partner and CEO of Garage, one of the most highly acclaimed communication and multimedia event companies in Italy.

1995-2000  In parallel with his work at Garage, he was a founding partner and chairman of Orchestra, one of the leading new Italian media agencies. The company was sold at its peak to Inferentia Group, which immediately afterwards was launched on the stock market in the new economy list.

2001-2003  CEO of Domus Academy, the school he had founded twenty years earlier.
1999- 2010 Together with Kartell and Finartemide, he founded Design-Italia spa for the construction of the first Internet Portal devoted to Italian design, serving as CEO and Editor.

2004-2008  He worked as art director for Olivetti, in charge of new product and corporate identity design. His machine design team included a number of leading international designers such as Ideo, James Irvine, Alberto Meda, Jasper Morrison and Francisco Gomez Paz.

since 2006 He founded the Design Library, the first library entirely devoted to design.

Today he continues his activities as cultural director of the Design Library. He also works as a freelance design management consultant for design-driven companies and institutions.



Video interview

Alberto Meda
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