Andrea Branzi

Architect (1938)

As a major figure in the history of architecture and design, Andrea Branzi was one of the leading representatives of the radical movement. For almost 50 years he has been undertaking research projects and design dessimination which have involved new relations between people and objects. As a co-founder of the Archizoom group, he made an essential contribution to the theoretical debate within the movement in the form of his essays and critical contributions, in particular the Radical Notes published in Casabella. With Archizoom he developed the No-Stop City project (1969-1972) and, for Poltronova, he produced furniture with provocative overtones, conveying liberating messages and laying claim to a new autonomy in the management of spaces (Superonda, Safari). For Branzi, design is not limited just to the sphere of furniture and industrial technology; rather, beyond objects, it questions the relationship people have with their environment. Today he is continuing these lines of thought through the concept of weak, flexible and reversible urban development (Eindhoven, 2000). He is advocating a New Athens Charter (lecture for L’Enjeu Capital(es), Centre Pompidou, 2009) for which architecture has no further functional specialization and disappears in favour of a weak and diffused computer flow:  a “high-tech favela”.

The architect, designer and theoretician Andrea Branzi (born in Florence) has lived and worked in Milan since 1973. As a founder member of the Archizoom group in 1966, he became associated in the late 1960s with experimental industrial design studios (Alchimia, and then Memphis). As co-founder of Global Tools (1974), and then of the Domus Academy (1983), he is today continuing his teaching activities at the Milan Politecnico.  Andrea Branzi has always undertaken busy critical activities which led him, between 1983 and 1987, to run the magazine Modo and publish many books (La Casa calda, 1982: Animali domestici:  le stile neo-primitivo,  1986; Nouvelles de la métropole froide, 1991 and Il design italiano 1964-1990 in 1996). In 1987 he was awarded the Compas d’or for the entirety of his career. Andrea Branzi’s projects are regularly exhibited throughout the world, for example at the Fondation Cartier (Paris) in 2008.

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