Luigi Caccia Dominioni 1913–2016
Born in Milan, Italy in 1913, Luigi Caccia Dominioni was a tireless pioneer for modern industrial design. Caccia Dominioni began his formal training in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic Institute. He graduated in 1936, and that same year, opened an architectural and design studio with the brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni; together, they designed the first plastic radio produced in Italy. The radio was featured in the VII Triennial Milan where it won the gold medal for best design. In his architectural designs, Caccia Dominioni was best known for his Gesamtkunstwerk creations of urban planning. Unlike many architects, Caccia Dominioni worked closely with the craftsmen and technicians throughout the process of building, and as such, his structures are outstandingly preserved to this day. The church of San Biagio, his restructuring of the Biblioteca, and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana are among his most famous buildings. In 1947, Caccia Dominioni founded the atelier Azucena with fellow architect Ignazio Gardella. Azucena was noted for experimenting with new forms and emerging materials in furniture, lighting, and industrial objects. In the 1950s, Caccia Dominioni worked with the Cooperativa Ceramica to craft designs for restaurants, ceramic tiles, and interiors. In 1960, Caccia Dominioni designed a series of apartment buildings in the Piazza Carbonari. These building are known for their uniquely irregular profiles and scattered doors and windows, giving the façades the feeling of an abstract painting. In the 1970s, he designed not only buildings, but also furniture and lighting, and he most notably crafted his playfully luxurious “Toro” or Bull chair in 1973 for Azucena. Caccia Dominioni continued to fashion designs for both lighting and chairs well into his 90s. He passed away at the age of 102 in 2016.
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