“If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”
Massimo and Lella Vignelli have produced memorable designs for decades, with the philosophy that in design, form and function are totally integrated: one does not follow the other. Their work in corporate identity, graphics, product design, and architecture has shaped the modern world around us. As a teen, Massimo Vignelli became enthralled with design and befriended many of the great architects of his day, asserting that he spent his youth as an ‘architecture groupie.’
Massimo trained in architecture in Milan and Venice, while his wife Lella studied the same discipline at the University of Venice and MIT. In 1960, they established the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan and later established the Vignelli Associates in New York, devoted to the design of corporate identity, products, and furniture.
For the Vignelli’s, good design must be visually powerful, intellectually elegant and above all timeless. The Vignelli’s are extremely versatile designers whose work is distinguished by clean, bold lines and a confident use of pure color. Working firmly within the Modernist tradition, focusing on simplicity through the use of basic geometric forms in all of their work, the Vignelli’s have won many major design awards and are exhibited in this country at MoMA New York, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, as well as museums around the globe.
Luminaire has hosted several events with the Vignellis in previous years, including lectures and book signings in both Miami and Chicago. In 2008, Massimo and Lella collaborated with Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshiki Waterhouse to create a piece for PaperLove, an exhibition and auction held during Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami to raise funds for cancer research. The final product, the New York SubWay Diagram, 2008, presented an updated version of the diagram that they designed in 1972, a more readable, cleanly classic alternative to an official map. Both a historical piece and a designer’s dream, New York SubWay Diagram, 2008, was auctioned during PaperLove to raise much needed funds to find a cure for cancer.
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