Italian architect-designer Marco Zanuso, Jr. was born in Milan in 1954. He studied architecture at Florence University of the Arts, graduating in 1978 with a four-year degree. His thesis focused on radical architecture and its main players, including Superstudio, Michele De Lucchi, Ufo, Andrea Branzi, Ettore Sottsass, and Alessandro Mendini.
After school, he worked with his uncle, noted architect-designer Marco Zanuso, on several projects, including the Piccolo Teatro, Teatro Fossati, Hotel Continental a Milano, and products for Poltrona Frau, Zanotta, Lavazza, and other high end brands. During that period, he also worked with Enzo Mari and Achille Castiglioni at the Polytechnic University of Milan. As Zanuso notes, “I think that doing projects with other artists is a very important thing that makes both grow.”
Zanuso established his studio in Milan in 1990, alongside designer Daniel Nava. (Eight years later, the studio moved to a new location, though also in Milan.) The practice focuses on product and architectural design spanning residential, commercial, interiors, and exhibition projects. Zanuso’s work is at once functional and highly original. Describing his overarching aesthetic, the designer says, “I think that a project is complete when it radiates harmony; and this feature must last, or even grow, over time.” Clients include Carrefour, Mondadori, Triennale di Milano, Memphis, Fontana Arte, Cappellini, De Padova, and Driade, among others. Over the years, he has collaborated with galleries such as Galerie Italienne in Paris and Fragile in Milan. He has also developed objects and experiments with small producers and craftsmen.
Standout projects include the 2006 Policromi collection for Galerie Italienne, featuring colorful furniture and vessels made of laser-cut and folded metal and steel pieces; the 2015 Tamiso series for Fragile, consisting of furniture and accessories composed of upcycled wooden remnants; as well as a pair of metal and wood tables called Antonio and Cleopatra made for Memphis in 1987.