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27 January 2021
Ernesto Gismondi, founder and president of Artemide Group, died at the age of 89, he transformed light into experience and brought Italian design to the international stage.
Ernesto Gismondi , aerospace engineer, university professor, inventor, visionary entrepreneur, multifaceted designer and founder of Artemide , passed away on December 31, 2020.
After graduating in Aeronautical Engineering at the Milan Polytechnic and in Missile Engineering at the Higher School of Engineering in Rome, from the early 1960s he dedicated himself to the design and production of Lighting Fixtures, founding with the designer Sergio Mazza Studio Artemide Sas, from which the Artemide Group will develop.
He established himself as an international designer, taking part, as one of the creators, in “Memphis”, an avant-garde movement that led to a profound evolution of the design sector in Italy and in the world and designing several successful luminaires for the Group.
The Artemide company, which specializes in lighting accessories, received its first Compasso d’Oro in 1967 for the Eclisse , designed by Vico Magistretti, characterized by the ability to change the effect of the light by sliding the inner shell.
Under his leadership, the Artemide Group will become one of the leading names in design lighting, boasting in its catalog collaborations with world-famous architects and designers such as Vico Magistretti, Claudio Dini, Richard Sapper, Michele De Lucchi, Achille Castiglioni, Gianfranco Frattini,Jan van Lierde, Zebulon, Andrea Anastasio, Peter Zegers, Adrien Gardere, Toni Corsero, Carlo Forcolini, Carlotta de Bevilacqua.
Among the products that have contributed most to making the company famous in the world, the Discovery desk lamp by Richard Sapper and the Tolomeo arm lamp, designed in 1987 by Michele De Lucchi & Giancarlo Fassina : made in different models, characterized by a innovative suspension mechanism, it is one of the best-selling lamps ever. And then the famous Nessino, symbol of the 60s, Callimaco by Ettore Sottsass, Fato by Gio Ponti, Boalum by Gianfranco Frattini and Livio Castiglioni, just to mention some of the most famous lamps of the brand which over the years has collaborated with the greatest designers.
The approach, which has always put technology and design at the service of mankind, is also found in the latest creation by Ernesto Gismondi, Discovery (Compasso d’Oro 2018), a lamp that is the perimeter of a primary geometric shape in metal (circle, square, rectangle) and which, when turned on, emits light inside.
In 2018 he won the Compasso D’Oro for Lifetime Achievement with the following motivation of the jury: “Aerospace engineer, university lecturer and entrepreneur, in short: man of multifaceted talent. Founder of Artemide, he immediately uses design processes as a distinctive factor and in this long process encourages and enhances collaborations with the world of national and international design. A coherent example of how design can be a concrete strategic lever for cultural and economic growth, it has always worked so that Italian design can be a virtuous example at an international level “.
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