Zanotta, an innovative Italian classic

July 2017

“Many people may deem it an exaggeration to present the products of just one manufacturer as a ‘micromodel’ of Italian furniture design in its entirety. However, if it makes no sense to claim that Zanotta’s production alone represents all the key moments of the Italian design history of the last 60 years, we must admit that his history could not be written without referring to its contribution.”       – Emilio Ambasz, 1988

In Italy, the end of the Second World War represented a period of great desire to sweep away the past and create a new future. In this vein, Aurelio Zanotta launched his eponymous company in the early 1950s with the goal of combining product innovation, quality, functionality, comfort, and duration – both in terms of materials and design. With an explosion of constructive energy along with talented designers, Zanotta began to redefine contemporary design in Italy.

The company has been in the forefront of this innovative movement through its design values and belief that profit and culture can be jointly produced.  Over the years, these principles have been constantly applied through research and experimentation making Zanotta a highly renowned leader in Italian design. Zanotta transcended through the 1960s gaining international spotlight thanks to its emblematic products for both their formal and technological innovations. Because of its advanced design insight, Luminaire showcases many of Zanotta’s pieces on display in the showrooms, catalog and the online store.

“Enthusiasm and spontaneity were the driving force for our work.”    – Aurelio Zanotta

Mr. Zanotta, along with innovative designers and architects who strongly believed in research, experimentation, and the cultural value of design, produced many pieces that are mentioned in design history books and displayed at the world’s major museums such as MoMA NYC, the London Design Museum, the Paris Centre George Pompidou and more.

Among the many talented designers and architects that worked with Zanotta, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s ideals of design aligned closely with Zanotta’s core philosophies as a manufacturer. Most of their products are the outcome of real ingenuity, humanist culture, intelligent experimentation, technical expertise, aesthetic sensibility and, above all, accomplished their practical purpose.

Along with his brother, Achille designed some of the best-known icons in the history of industrial design including the Sella, Mezzadro, and Allunaggio stools produced by Zanotta. Until 1968 Achille worked closely with his brother later continuing to design timeless and intuitively made products with some of his most classic furniture pieces, manufactured by Zanotta, including the Joy bookshelf. Achille Castiglioni is one of those rare designers whose products are both internationally acclaimed and practical enough for daily use having design classics that are still manufactured today.

Decades later Zanotta continues to produce design pieces that have stood the test of time, maintaining quality, functionality, and sustainability while pushing the design world to new innovative heights.