Seminal Italian architect, designer and educator Andrea Branzi has held a lifelong fascination with how humans interact with objects, and has sought to reconcile design and architecture with the evolving challenges of contemporary society. As a leading theorist, Branzi has contributed an analytical and academic approach to the discipline.
Born in Florence in 1938, Branzi studied architecture at the Florence School of Architecture, receiving his degree in 1966. From 1964 to 1974, he was a founding member of the experimental group Archizoom, which envisioned the groundbreaking No-Stop-City among other projects. Branzi was a key member of Studio Alchimia, founded in 1976, and went on to associate with the Memphis Group in the early 1980s.
In the mid-eighties, Branzi turned away from the highly-stylized aesthetic of postmodern design to embrace a style he called “neoprimitivism.” The key expression of his new direction was his seminal Animali Domestici (1985-1986) series, which feature rectilinear modern forms intersected by unfinished logs, sticks, and wood offcuts, upholstered with loose pelts—bringing the artificial and natural into equilibrium.
He distinguished himself as a co-founder of Domus Academy, the first international post-graduate school for design, and was a professor and chairman of the School of Interior Design at the Politecnico di Milano until 2009. Branzi is a three-time recipient of the Compasso d’Oro, honored for individual or group effort in 1979, 1987, and 1995. In 2008, Branzi was named an Honorary Royal Designer in the United Kingdom and he received an honorary degree from La Sapienza in Rome. That same year, his work was featured in an installation at the Fondation Cartier, Paris. In 2018, Branzi was the recipient of the prestigious Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts by the Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Branzi’s works are held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, and Victoria & Albert Museum, London among others.
He lives and works in Milan, Italy.