Gaetano Pesce
Chair UP 2000, manufacturer: B&B Italia


Gaetano Pesce is A&W Designer of the Year

A&W Architektur und Wohnen magazine has honoured the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce as Designer of the Year 2006. On this occasion, red dot presents a profile of this versatile artist.


Born in La Spezia, Italy, in 1939, Gaetano Pesce was trained at the University of Venice Faculty of Architecture and has since been working as an artist, designer and architect all over the world, from Europe and Japan to the United States and Brazil. His work is considered unconventional, even controversial. Described by prominent architecture critic Herbert Muschamp as “the architectural equivalent of a brainstorm,” Pesce today can look back on more than 40 years of successful interdisciplinary practice.

One of his most famous industrial designs is the “UP” series, which includes a voluptuously shaped armchair that invokes the soft forms of the female body. Manufacturers like B&B Italia, Knoll, Cassina and Vitra have produced his furniture designs. As an architect, he realised buildings such as the “Organic Building” in Osaka, Japan. “For the past 30 years, I have been trying to give architecture back its capacity to be useful,” Pesce recently said on the subject of his work.

Since 1980, Gaetano Pesce has been living in New York and from his office in Manhattan he worked for the advertising agency TWBA/Chiat Day and many others. Pesce has served as a guest professor in many institutions, including Cooper Union in New York. Pesce’s objects are part of the permanent collection of many renowned museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 1996, he was honoured with a comprehensive career retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

From the beginning, Pesce has always looked for new materials and unconventional, unique designs. His entire, multi-faceted work reflects this non-conventionalist spirit and approach: “Modernism is less a style than a method for interpreting the present and prescribing a future in which individuality is preserved and celebrated.” And explaining on his search for variety, Pesce says: “People are all different. So why should the objects we surround ourselves with all be the same?”

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