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Gio Ponti

Gio Ponti

*  1891 Mailand
† 1979

Giovanni (Gio) Ponti is a designer, architect, and journalist. Alongside Emilio Lancia, Giovanni Muzio, and Tommaso Buzzi, Gio Ponti was a leading exponent of the Novecento style, which became established in Italy around 1926 as a countermovement to Rationalismo. After studying architecture at Milan Polytechnick until 1921, Gio Ponti worked until 1923 in the architecture practice jointly run by Emilio Lancia and Mino Fiocchi. Gio Ponti then became artistic director at the Richard Ginori ceramics factory. The designs Gio Ponti did for Richard Ginori in the Novecento style were awarded a Grand Prix at the 1925 "Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes" in Paris. That same year, 1925, Gio Ponti realized his first project as a self-employed architect when he built his own house in Via Randaccio in Milan. The 1920s saw Gio Ponti designing furniture for the La Rinascente deparment store. In 1928 Gio Ponti founded the architecture and design periodical "Domus", remaining editor of it until 1941. After that Gio Ponti founded art and architecture journal "Stile" but in 1947 returned to "Domus" as editor. From 1930 Gio Ponti worked for Fontana, designing lighting and furniture. In 1932 the Fontana subsidiary FontanaArte was established, with Gio Ponti and Pietro Chiesa joint directors. In 1933 Gio Ponti was a co-founder of the Milan Triennale. From 1936 until 1961 Gio Ponti held a chair in architecture at the Politecnico in Milan. Gio Ponti is the author of numerous books on art, design, and architecture. The thirty-four-floor Pirelli Building in Milan (1955-1958, with Pier Luigi Nervi) is regarded as Gio Ponti's architectural masterpiece. In 1971 Gio Ponti built the Denver Art Museum. Legendary Gio Ponti designs include his "Superleggera" (1957) chair for Cassina, his glass and lighting for Venini (1946-1950), and his coffee machine for La Pavoni (1948).