Everyday things and ordinary materials often provided the inspiration for Achille Castiglioni’s designs, whose genius was in using minimal materials to create forms with maximum effect. Castiglioni was grounded in the tradition of fine craftsmanship and a passion for sensual, expressive forms –  sensibilities he shared with other postwar designers like Marco Zanuso and Ettore Sottsass. His philosophy: “Start from scratch. Stick to common sense.”

Like his contemporaries, Castiglioni was active in Italy’s postwar design renaissance. With a lack of funds for architectural products, designers focused on small objects like lighting and furniture. With his brothers, designers Livio and Pier Giacomo, Achille helped establish the Milan Trienniale, the Compasso d’Oro awards and the ADI. He was honored with eight Compasso d’Oro award, and is one of the most important figures in Italian design of the 20th century.