Michele de Lucchi

Italy 1951

Michele De Lucchi studied architecture at Padua and Florence until 1975. From 1975 to 1977 he was an academic assistant in the architecture department at Florence University. In 1973 he joined forces with other designers and architects to form Cavart, a radical design group which put on Happenings and held seminars in Padua.

In 1978 De Lucchi moved to Milan, where he worked for Kartell. Contact with Ettore Sottsass induced De Lucchi to join the Studio Alchimia designers. For their exhibitions, he created several grotesque and comical design objects. In 1978 De Lucchi designed "Sinerpica", a table lamp that is practically useless as a lamp. The same may be said of his "Sinvola" (1979), which is designed to look like an outsize pin cushion surrounding a rod with a light bulb. In 1979 he also designed several prototype household appliances, which were shown at the Milan Triennale though they were never manufactured.

From 1980 De Lucchi was a member of the Memphis group, designing "Lido", a colorful sofa in 1982 and the "First" chair in 1983 for Memphis. In the late 1980s De Lucchi returned to good design. "Tolomeo", a stringently clear, functional aluminium work lamp designed jointly for Artemide in 1987 by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina für Artemide, remains a bestseller.

In 1990 he founded a small lighting company to produce lighting that was technically not very complex, could disregard the requirements of mass production, and could be made by craftsmen using traditional techniques. In 2001 "Fata" and "Fatina" were launched, lamps of milky white, handblown Murano glass, with no perceptible transition between foot and lampshade. On the side, De Lucchi and his design studio continued to work for large firms; by 1979 he was a design consultant for Olivetti.

In 1993 De Lucchi designed the branches of the Deutsche Bank, in 1995 he designed a shop system for Mandarina Duck, and in 1997 the Deutsche Bahn Travel Center in Frankfurt.