Luigi Caccia Dominioni was born in Milan in 1913. In 1931 he registered in the School of Architecture of the Milan Polytechnic, where he met the Castiglioni brothers, Bernasconi, Peressuti, Rogers and Zanuso. He took a degree in 1936 and opened a studio together with Livio and Piergiacomo Castiglioni. Caccia Dominioni was somewhat inactive due to the war and political situation in Italy. From '43 to '45 he stayed in Switzerland and worked as an advertising illustrator. In 1947 he set up his own practise for architecture and design in Milan and worked there until 1975. From 1975 to 1982 he worked in Monaco. In 1947 he cofounded with Corrado Corradi Del'Acqua and Ignazio Gardella the legenday design firm/store Azucena in Milan. He became known for his eclecticism as well in architecture as in design.
He received a Compasso d'Oro alla Carriera in 2008.
Ignazio Gardella was born in Milan on 30 March 1905, died in Oleggio (Novara) on 16 March 1999.From a family of four generations of engineers and architects, Ignazio Gardella took a degree in engineering at the Milan Polytechnic in 1931, and a degree in architecture in 1949 at the School of Architecture of Venice, where he was a professor from 1949 to 1975.
He made early contacts with international design culture in Germany and the Nordic countries, which influenced his career. The first results were works of architecture and objects marked by Rationalism (see the Garda handle, "transcribed" from a German example in 1929, then produced by Olivari in 1951).
After the Second World War a fundamental critical revision led him to break down stylistic barriers, developing an absolutely personal language, with certain similarities to the Neoliberty style (as in the Digamma reclining armchair, produced by Gavina, 1957).
His first design efforts date back to the early 1930s (furnishing objects for the 5th and 6th Milan Triennale), and he continued to design objects until the 1970s, together with works of interior architecture and exhibition design (The Italian chair over the centuries, 9th Milan Triennale, 1951).
His work in the field of architecture, however, was much more extensive. In an approach shared with many other designers of his generation, Ignazio Gardella turned to the design of objects when particular elements were required for his works of architecture (see the Galleria appliques for the PAC museum in Milan, 1954; the Paolina hanging lamp for the bookshop of Edizioni Paoline, 1957; the Arenzano for the complex at Arenzano, 1960).
After an initial experience during the war with ArAr (Architetti Arredatori), a small Werkstaette created in 1942 with friends (including Ernesto Nathan Rogers) for the production of furniture, -mounted stackable elements (1948), tables (height-adjustable, '49; T1, '51; extensible T4, '55) in 1947, with Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Corrado Corradi, Gardella founded Azucena, for the production of objects in limited numbers.
For 25 years his name was associated with this company, for which he designed, among other products, the Lib 1 bookcase with three pressure6), and many lamps and armchairs (R63, Lido).
In 1954 he was one of the protagonists of Italian design featured in the exhibition in New York at the Altamira gallery-story.
This experience opened the way for new collaborations: the extensible table designed in 1956 for Azucena was later produced and distributed by Simon.
In partnership with Anna Castelli Ferrieri from 1959 to 1973, together they designed furniture in plastic in 1967 for Kartell (followed later by the design for the company's plant and offices in Noviglio). His last design project was also for Kartell, a retractable floor lamp in 1976.
The street lamps for the City of Milan, with a profiled base in granite, located in Piazza San Babila, date back to the 1960s.
Applying the same sober, discreet style used in his residential interiors, in 1960 he designed the interiors for Alitalia for the Douglas DC-8 and, in 1968, for four Boeing 747s.
Aldo Rossi commented on these works: ".he captured the new spirit of the times in balanced furnishings and objects, objects rich in material and memories".
But alongside their recognized virtues of elegance and sobriety, Gardella's designs also reveal methodological consistency and attention to constructive processes, as in the study of the stackable element that runs through the projects of the 1940s for tables with removable tops, and the prototypes of furniture for RIMA, in the furnishings for low-cost housing of 1946, and then in the height-adjustable table with tray for Azucena in 1948.
In 1979 he donated the archives of his works to the CSAC of the University of Parma.