Kartell: top Italian design

Design, food, fashion: when it comes to Italy, and the Italian genius, the triad remains this, but it is not a sin, nor a limit. The relevance of certain solutions and the timeless beauty of the different proposals, especially in industrial design, thanks to a tumultuous period as it was industrial development in the last century, is proof that excellence pays.
As we speak it continues to establish a perimeter for the imagination of experts and ordinary people. Car, lamps, armchairs, chairs, typewriters: the style of Italian design that has made history is a portmanteau of beauty and functionality that continue to inspire. And to admire.


Photo CC BY_SA by Pava

Italy is synonymous with excellence in decor. Among the major brands of Italian gracing the homes around the world – B & B, Lake, Meda, Artemis – Kartell is among the most famous.
Well known for some world famous productions, such as Ghost chair by Philippe Starck and Ron Arad Bookworm, Kartell is an Italian company that manufactures only in Italy with an extraordinary technique and a quality.

One of the features of the objects of this famous Milan company is to use the polycarbonate and to implement them by a single mold, making them resistant to the weight that is to weathering as in the case of chairs for the outodoor.

  • One of the great insights of its engineers was in fact, using polycarbonate, first used for the visors and shields of the police and then modified with General Electric to make it more flexible, colorful and durable. From that study came the La Marie chair ushering in the era of industrial products which today decorate the town houses in Manhattan as in Milan and Singapore.

Founded by Giulio Castelli in 1949, the company, which produces decorative objects strictly plastic, has gained international recognition and a place of honor in the major museums of contemporary art and design in the world as the Triennale art Milan and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

  • Among the designers who have made the brand great there are Ludovico (Vico) Magistretti who created the popular Maui chair, Philippe Starck for Kartell has designed the first chair – Dr. Glob – Alberto Meda, who made the chair and Honeycomb then Antonio Citterio – its the Mobil chest of drawers.
  • Other designers such as Patricia Urquiola and Ferruccio Laviani have created for the company Milanese design objects that have become icons of the good life.


Photo CC BY-SA by austincalhoon.com.

Its lamps are very famous:maybe you will recognise the Baroque Bourgie by Ferruccio Laviani, which is a perfect example of the Kartell style marking furniture and reading companion. Bookworm is instead a flexible library wall, great example of flexibility and strength.

The success of the company’s knowhow stays in the craft of his workers and the ability to use the latest technology to create beautiful objects from raw materials, while offering them with the different types of plastic they are made of an alternative “natural” to the glass due to their brightness, resistance and cost. Based on this philosophy Kartell has also ushered in a whole line of items for the bathroom and for the table, covered with gold and silver paint.

Always present at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most anticipated events in the industry, today Kartell has 130 flagship stores worldwide and exports to the United States. In 1999 he opened the eponymous museum in Noviglio, near Milan, where he also registered the company.

But what is the relation between this international known designer and Kartell, one of the symbols of Italian design around the world that will be exhibiting in Milan Design Week 2015?


Photo CC BY-SA by austincalhoon.com.

Philippe Starck is one of the most influential European designers from the 21th Century. The son of an aeronautical engineer, Starck studied at the École Camondo in Paris. An inflatable structure he imagined in 1969 was his first amswer into questions of materiality, and an early indicator of Starck’s interest in where and how people live. Growing up with his father’s drawing boards and hands on projects, he shortly became known for his taste and original style.
Through his “democratic design” concept, Starck campaigns for well-designed, quality objects that are not just reserved for an elite. He would put this utopian idea into practice by increasing production quantities to cut costs and by using mail-order. And he also has a huge concern for the environment and the sustainability of the pieces he creates, which is clearly visible in his projects.
Starck began designing products for Kartell in the company’s uprise in the 80s and 90s. Mixing the company’s desire to develop eco-friendly, contemporary plastic furniture with the designer’s style was the beginning of a great partnership.

Ever since the first Starck product was released under the Kartell name, the popularity of Starck’s designs increased significantly. Utilizing polycarbonate, a plastic that can be broken down for recycling purposes, these designs began popping up everywhere from hotels, weddings, restaurants and more.


Photo CC BY by  Starck Ting

His best-known creations are his unique chairs. These are some popular and unique models.
In fact in Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, Kartell will present fresh news from Philippe Starck. The the Aunts&Uncles collection faces an evolution in its colours and finishings and widens with new items. As a result of an extraordinary formal and functional innovation, these lamps represent concretely and tangibly the boldest and most virtuous examples of injection technology of polycarbonate in a single mold.