Giovanni Sacchi and the shared project

Giovanni Sacchi, the most famous model maker in the field of industrial design, was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for Lifetime Achievement on April 18th, 1998. The recommendation was advanced by professionals he had worked with throughout his fifty-year career. First and foremost by Piero Polato – author of the only monograph dedicated to his work (1991) – and Gianni Arduini, who wrote the following in the letter of introduction for the nomination: “The history of Italian design – fortunately, some might say – was not shaped by designers alone, or by manufacturers or people who have written or spoken about design, but also by those who made it possible to give real physical form to design. The greatest contribution in this sense was undoubtedly made by Giovanni Sacchi”.1 His recommendation was also supported by Italo Lupi, Paolo Viti, Renzo Piano, Mario Botta, Carlo Ulrico Hoepli, Ernesto Gismondi, Gae Aulenti and Francesco Trabucco. The latter explained his contribution in the following words: “Sacchi can read more into our drawings than what simply appears in the lines we have drafted; he does not merely execute, more often than not he offers a critical interpretation of our work”.2
This paper intends to explore the experience of Sacchi’s atelier, relying on first-hand accounts to reconstruct the value and many meanings that the model and model-maker bring to the design process, as well as the importance of the personal relationships that have long characterized and distinguished Italian design.

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Tecno Design Center. From the “participative” spirit of the sixties to the “global” design of the new millennium

“The discreet elegance of technique” is the expression dedicated by Giampiero Bosoni (2011) to the historic Tecno Company, founded by Osvaldo and Fulgenzio Borsani in 1953 in Varedo (MI). The introduction of the technological factor into the aesthetic and typological development of furniture became the founding principle of the company, where the deus ex machina of the design vision was Osvaldo Borsani. Though since they first founded the company, the Borsani brothers made significant efforts to work with independent designers, they still viewed the designer as an in-house member of the creative “workshop”, a legacy of their experience with ABV (Arredamenti Borsani Varedo). In the late sixties, architects Valeria Borsani and Marco Fantoni suggested that Osvaldo Borsani end the cycle of designer names on pieces developed within the company and to formalize what was already de facto the Tecno Design Center (CTP), which was officially instituted in 1970.

This article presents a study devoted specifically to the CPT, leaving the well-documented history of Tecno to the wealth of dedicated literature (Gramigna & Irace, 1992; Colonetti, 1996; Bosoni, 2011), in an attempt to reconstruct its thirty-year history and to describe the system of professional interrelationships relying on bibliographical documents, materials from the archives and interviews.


The full version of this article is available only in Italian