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“We are always inventing our work, inventing our client”. Paolo Tilche designer and entrepreneur in 1950s Milan

The architect Paolo Tilche (Alexandria of Egypt, 1925 – Milan, 2003) was a well-known figure in Milan, whose opus has not yet been reconstructed in its entirety. After World War II, he worked as an “all-around” designer, demonstrating the diversified and structured process of building a recognizable and recognized professional figure.

As an architect he designed residential and industrial buildings. In 1955, he opened the Arform showroom in Milan, in Via Turati 3, which had a significant influence in spreading modern “good taste” in furniture. At the same time, he worked intensively as a designer for important companies such as Ideal Standard, Guzzini, Sirrah or Cedit, designing a number of bestsellers such as the Conca in 1963.

With the advent of television, he became the host, with Mario Tedeschi, of “Il piacere della casa“, one of the first examples of a television show dedicated to a cultured presentation of themes surrounding domestic living.

This article intends to reconstruct Tilche’s biography and the context in which the design profession developed, based on primary sources (the project materials owned by the family), secondary sources, such as the publications of the time, and first-hand oral accounts.

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, numero 7 maggio 2016

Alberto Bassi

Alberto Bassi – born in Milan in 1958 – deals with the history and criticism of design. He is Associate Professor at the Università Iuav di Venezia, and Director of Industrial Design at the Università Iuav di Venezia (joint degree, at the Università degli studi della Repubblica di San Marino). Bassi is part of the editorial board of Casabella, and contributes to various Italian magazines such as Auto & Design and the weekly insert of the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore as well as with the newspaper Il fatto quotidiano. Among his published books: Giuseppe Pagano designer (with L. Castagno, Roma-Bari: Laterza, 1994), Italian Light. The design of the lamps 1945-2000, Milan: Electa, 2003); Antonio Citterio industrial design (Milan: Electa, 2004); Design anonimo in Italia: Oggetti comuni e progetto incognito (Milan: Electa, Milano 2007); Design. Progettare gli oggetti della vita quotidiana (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013).

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