On October 19 in Milan, Italian designer, critic, and author Enzo Mari died at the age of 88.
Mari was born in 1932 in Cerano, in the Piedmont region of Italy, and moved to Milan in 1947 where he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in 1952.
Mari’s early works include a series of collaborations on accessories with the Italian brand Danese Milano before designing numerous pieces of furniture for Italian brands in the 1960s and 70s. These include the Elisa chair and Box chair for Dirade, Tonietta chair for Zanotta and Squeezer for Alessi. Along with the Delfina chair, which was designed for Driade in 1974 and won the Italian Compasso d’Oro industrial design award in 1979.
Alongside product and furniture design, Mari wrote numerous and varied books. In the 1960s he published a book of paintings called The Apple and the Butterfly book, which told the story of a caterpillar.
His political ideas were reflected in his definition of ‘good design’, which he described as sustainable, accessible, functional, well made, emotionally resonant, enduring, socially beneficial, beautiful, economic and affordable.
Mari has been an inspiration and reference point for several generations of designers and design entrepreneurs, and his radical ideas have helped shape contemporary design and still have an impact today.
Luminaire has carried Mari’s work since 1984.