Gio Ponti was an icon of the modernist movement: the Italian designer, architect, artist and publisher contributed significantly to the worlds of architecture and design with his extensive work in fine furniture and ceramics, education, office and residential buildings, and everything in between. He is considered by many to be the father of modern Italian design.
Giovanni, known as Gio, Ponti was born in 1891 in Milan. It was there that he spent his childhood, and in 1921 he began to study architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. From 1923 to 1930 he served as the artistic director of the Richard-Ginori porcelain factory. In 1927, Ponti started his first architectural office, together with Emilio Lancia, and in 1928 he started the magazine Domus, which is still regarded as one of the most influential European magazines for architecture and design. He was also very influential during the period as a curator of the Milan Triennale.
After his collaboration with Emilio Lancia had come to an end, upon completion of the Torre Rasini, he began to work as an architect together with the engineers Antonio Fornaroli and Eugenio Soncini. It was during this period that Ponti designed many of his most famous buildings, such as the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Rome, the Primo Palazzo Montecatini, the Casa Marmont and Villa Donegani in Bordighera. The most well-known of his architectural works is the Pirelli Tower, which Gio Ponti completed in his hometown of Milan in 1956. He continued to work well into his eighties, completing such impressive works as the Concatterdrale Gran Madre di Dio in Tatanto and the Denver Art Museum. Gio Ponti died in Milan on 16 September, 1979 having produced countless pieces of furniture, ceramics and thousands of other objects throughout his life.