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Gio Ponti

1891 - 1979

The famous designer, architect, editor and professor at the Politecnico di Milano University, Gio (Giovanni) Ponti was a significant figure for Italian modernism. He made a huge contribution in bringing Italy forward as a global center of design. Ponti  was the founder and long-time editor of the iconic magazine Domus and one of the originators of the design Oscar, the Compasso d’Oro award. He received multiple international awards and prizes, including an honorary doctorate from the London Royal College of Art. As architect Ponti was known for various projects around the world: the Pirelli tower in Milan (1956), villa Planchart in Venezuela (1953-1957), hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome (1964), the Montedoria Building in Milan (1970).

1921. Ponti graduates as architect from the Politecnico di Milano University in Milan. He is employed in Mino Fiocchi and Emilio Lancia architectural studios. 

1923-1930. Ponti works as art-director of ceramics factory Richard Ginori.

1927. Ponti and architect Emilio Lancia found their own studio in Milan. 

1928. Domus magazine, one of the world’s first professional titles in the field of architecture, is founded. Next year publisher Gianni Mazzocchi purchases Domus and founds the Editoriale Domus publishing house.

1930-1932. Collaboration with FontanaArte as design consultant and art director of one of the company’s departments.

1933. Ponti terminates his collaboration with Lancia and opens a studio with Antonio Fornaroli and Eugenio Soncini. The studio was active until 1945. 

1936-1961. Ponti teaches in the Politecnico di Milano University in Milan.

1954. Personal exhibition in The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston. 

1954. Gio Ponti and Alberto Rosselli become ideologists of the Compasso d’Oro award, granted for exceptional achievements in Italian industrial design. 

1967. Ponti goes back to collaboration with FontanaArte and becomes its creative director. In 1979 Gae Aulenti succeeds him.

1968. Ponti receives a golden medal for the contribution to worldwide architecture from Académie Royale d’Architecture in France.

Gio Ponti’s works are included in the collections of international museums: the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and others.