Architect ALESSANDRO MENDINI was born in Milan. He has worked as editor of the magazines Casabella, Modo and Domus. Monographs about his work and his projects conducted with the practice Alchimia have been published in a number of languages.
His design work embraces objects, furniture, ambiences, paintings, installations and architecture. He cooperates with international companies such as Alessi, Philips, Cartier, Bisazza, Swatch, Hermés and Venini and works as a consultant for industrial companies worldwide, especially in the Far East, helping to solve problems relating to image and design. He is an honorary member of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design of Jerusalem. He won the Compasso d’oro award for design in 1979 and in 1981. He holds the title of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” in France, as well as an honorary title from the Architectural League of New York and an honorary degree from Milan Polytechnic. He has held the appointment of professor of design at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna and is honorary professor at the Academic Council of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China. His works are featured in numerous museums and private collections.
In 1989 he and his brother Francesco Mendini opened the practice Atelier Mendini in Milan. Their projects in Italy include Fabbriche Alessi in the town of Omegna; the new Olympic swimming pool in Trieste; a number of underground stations and restoration of the Villa Comunale in Naples; the Byblos Art Hotel-Villa Amistà in Verona; the Trend Group’s new offices in Vicenza; a tower in Hiroshima, Japan; the Groningen Museum in Holland; a district in Lugano in Switzerland; the Madsack office building in Hanover and a commercial building in Lörrach in Germany; the new Triennale building in Milan, the Exhibition Centre and Ceramic Museum in Incheon, South Korea, as well as other buildings in Europe and the USA. Atelier Mendini won the Gold medal for Italian architecture in 2003 at the Triennale in Milan for project for the Naples Metro and the Villeggiature Awards 2006 in Paris for the Byblos Art Hotel in Verona, as “Best Hotel Architecture and Interior Design in Europe”. He works as an urban planning consultant in a number of cities in South Korea.
Alongside his projects, he is also engaged in theoretical and written work encompassing art, design and architecture.
Architect and Professor of history of architecture, Milan Polytechnic
Fulvio Irace is a full professor of “History of Architecture” at Milan Polytechnic, where he holds the History of Contemporary Architecture chair at the Faculty of Civil Architecture and the Faculty of Design; he is also a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, and a member of the board of teachers for the PhD course in “History of Architecture and Town Planning” at Turin Polytechnic.
He is a member of the scientific committee of the Vico Magistretti Foundation and is on the board of trustees of the Piano Foundation.
In 2008-2009 he was a member of the jury for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize.
From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Milan Triennial and curator of the Architecture and Territory sector.
One of the founders of the national association AAI (Archivi di Architettura Italia – Italian Architectural Archives), he is one of the promoters of the “Architecture and Design” section of CASVA (Centro alti studi e valorizzazione delle arti – the Centre for Higher Studies and Valorisation of the Arts) of the Municipality of Milan.
Architectural editor for the publications “Domus” and “Abitare”, he has worked with the most important national and international magazines in the sector, and in 2005 was awarded the Inarch Bruno Zevi Prize for architectural criticism. Since 1986 he has been an opinionist in the field of architecture for the Sunday Supplement of “Il Sole 24 Ore”.
Attentive to the historiographies of Italian architecture between the two World Wars, to which he has dedicated much work through various exhibitions and publications, more recently his studies have concentrated on contemporary Italian architecture, and the figure of Renzo Piano, the subject of various monographs and an important exhibition at the Milan Triennial.
In the field of criticism and historical methodology he is the author of the following works: Dimenticare Vitruvio, 2001 and 2008; Le città visibili: Renzo Piano 2006; Divina Proporzione, 2007; Gio Ponti, 2009.
He has curated a number of architectural exhibitions.
Professor Accademia di Belle Arti di Ravenna
Rolando Giovannini is a Knight of the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic). He studied in Faenza in the Technological Section of the "Ballardini" Art Institute. He obtained a degree in Geology and a diploma in Decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna (he passed his examination with full marks, with a thesis in mineralogy on "Mixed chlorite-saponite interlayer" - Prof. Noris Morandi - and on the subject of "Textures" -Prof. Adriano Baccilieri). He was a pupil of Paolo Monti, with whom he took the exam of Photography at the DAMS (University of Bologna). In 1975 he qualified as a researcher for the CNR (Italian Research Council). He was a member of the Ministerial Committee in Rome which oversaw the creation of the "Michelangelo" project for art schools and is currently a member of the Working Group for the reform of Italian secondary schools specialising in art, commissioned by MIUR. He was a teacher at the ISIA in Faenza (Institute for Higher Education for the Artistic Industries – where he was also appointed Director of the Institute for two consecutive academic years) in Decorative Techniques, Pattern Design and Surface Design, then at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ravenna (Marketing) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna (Chemical-Physical methodologies). He is today the principal of the IIS "Stoppa Compagnoni" in Lugo and principal regent of the ISA "Gaetano Ballardini" Secondary Art School in Faenza.
He was one of the artists involved in the "Nose" movement with Cesare Reggiani (1976-78) and "A Tempo e a Fuoco", a movement organised by Vittorio Fagone (1982-1985); here he made researches on ceramic and neon materials. He has worked with Bruno Munari ("Giocare con l'Arte", M.I.C., the International Ceramic Museum in Faenza 1979-82), Paola Navone (1984), Sottsass Associati (1986), Alessandro Guerriero (1992), Marta Sansoni and Marco Zanini (1995), Alessandra Alberici and Giorgio Montanari (1997-2007), Tullio Mazzotti (1999-2008), Giovanni Levanti (2000-07), Franco Laera and Vanni Pasca (2003), Dante Donegani (2004), Massimo Iosa Ghini (2005), Sergio Calatroni, Ilaria De Palma (2007), Mario Pisani (2008), Maria Rita Bentini, Alessandro Castiglioni, Veronica Dal Buono, Luigi Sansone (2009), Muky, Mara De Fanti (2010), Bertozzi & Casoni, Laura Silvagni, Fulvio Irace (2011).
A theorist of design, he has published several articles, as well as three books on the subject of design and decoration of ceramics especially aimed at schools and academies.
He founded the NeoCeramica Movement (2007) and arranged the collection of tiles from the second half of the 20 th century at the MIC in Faenza (since 1978); he organised a scientific project at the Documentation Centre and Museum (Confindustria Ceramica, Sassuolo), the Contemporary Section at the Museum of the Castello di Spezzano of Fiorano and the Design Section of MuST (Sacmi, Imola). In 2008, in Faenza, he was instrumental in establishing the MISA (the Museum of the State Art Institute). More recently he presented the work by Gillo Dorfles (the author was also present, with Claudio Cerritelli and Luigi Sansone, Milan, Palazzo Reale, 2009) and that by Enzo Mari in "Teoria ed etica del design" (Design theory and ethics) during a lecture to the students from art schools in Bologna (Cersaie 2010). He was coordinator for the attendance and participation of art schools at the event "Lezione alla rovescia" by Alessandro Mendini (Bologna, Cersaie 2011).
He has designed objects which have been manufactured in Italy and Japan. His public works include the ceramic wall decoration inside the Shin-Kobe underground railway station, Shinkansen station in Kobe, Japan.
Some of his design works are kept at the Alessi and Richard Ginori archives, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and at the Foshan Creative Industry Park Investment & Management Ltd, Foshan, China (2009). He was invited to the second China (Shanghai) International Modern Pot Art Biennial Exhibition, Shanghai, China (2010) and to the ICMEA Symposium in Fuping, China (November 2010). He travelled to India in November 2011, to produced three objects for the Sanskriti Museum of New Delhi. He was invited by Vittorio Sgarbi and Giorgio Grasso to take part at the PADIGLIONE ITALIA within the framework of the 54th INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION OF THE BIENNALE OF VENICE, for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy (Turin, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Sala Nervi, December 17 th, 2011) curated by Vittorio Sgarbi.
He created the didactic museum "Museo didattico Stoppa-Compagnoni", at the IIS Stoppa-Compagnoni in Lugo di Romagna, where calculators, writing machines, computers and scientific instruments that were used in the past by land surveyors, are collected. The museum was inaugurated on December 23rd, 2011. A brochure is available with a description of the various works and machines on show, illustrating the use referred to the history of Design.
He was Art Director of the magazine "Tile Fashion" from 1993 to 2000 and responsible for the Art, Fashion and Design columns of the monthly magazine C.I., a Il Sole 24 ore S.p.A. publication.
He writes articles for the D’A magazine, distributed to newsstands since January 2011, and for Art and Perception (a U.S. periodical).