Giovanni Ponti, or Gio Ponti, is the Godfather of Italy’s postwar design renaissance. With his broad knowledge and skill sets in the realms of architecture, industrial and furniture design, the arts and publishing his work was totally revolutionary. In fact, he is known as one of the most famous, influential and important creatives of the twentieth century.
After serving in World War I, Gio Ponti got his degree in architecture and never looked back. Straight out of study, he shot straight to the top as an art director for an Italian ceramics company. His time spent working with homewares within the company is often attributed to his thorough processes later. Gio never viewed architecture as simply creating buildings, and had a knack for conceiving the entire structure and its interior environment. He was known for designing the home as well as furniture, lighting, ceramics, glassware and silverware. He liked to create buildings that served a purpose and were also beautiful, with a goal to integrate art and architecture as one. Gio ended up designing thousands of furnishings and products throughout his career. From cabinets, lamps and chairs to ceramics and coffeemakers, his style couldn’t be pegged down but always had an unmistakable air of simplicity, gentle angles and accents of bright colour.
His daughter often joked that Gio Ponti would squeeze 60 hours of work into one day, as well as bouts of writing and painting. He loved architecture and threw himself into his work ruthlessly. He penned these words about the buildings he loves so much, and although he’s talking about structures in concrete, brick, steel and metal, we’re actually left feeling pretty soft and tender inside.
“Love architecture, be it ancient or modern. Love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations; for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative forms that enchant our spirit, and enrapture our thoughts. Love architecture, the stage and support of our lives.”
RIP, ya legend.