Modern Bio: Mario Bellini

Architecture & Interiors

Though it’s certainly not a requirement that a furniture designer also be an architect to design beautiful pieces—the world has seen its fair share of designers of all walks of life—but there’s something special about furniture that’s designed by those who also create structures and shape environments. There’s just a bigger-than-the-piece quality you notice when looking at a furniture piece by an architect. Mario Bellini’s work has that quality.

Mario Bellini, a world-famous Italian architect and designer, began work in the Sixties and quickly shot to fame for his amazing work on buildings big and small. But something less known is the great lover of art he was, and how much work he did with creating products for the home, as well.

Bulleted history:

  • Born February 1, 1935.
  • Graduates from the Milan Polytechnic – Faculty of Architecture in 1959.
  • Begins his career as a product and furniture designer in 1963.
  • From 1963 to 1991, is chief design consultant for Olivetti.
  • Spends 5 years as an automobile design consultant with Renault.
  • Commissioned to design and build the prototype of the Kar-a-Sutra mobile environment for the exhibition “Italy: the New Domestic Landscape” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1972.
  • The Museum of Modern Art in New York organizes the exhibition “Mario Bellini: designer”, the first great retrospective on a living artist, in 1987.
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects holds an exhibition of Bellini’s work as an architect in 1996.
  • The Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art of Trento, Italy holds a personal show “Mario Bellini: a path between architecture, furniture and cars” in 2000.
  • The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne reopens with a major exhibition of his work in 2003.

Work of note:

  • La Rinascente, a series products for home furnishing, office and lighting, 1960
  • CMC 7, an automatic reader of written documents with magnetic characters, 1963
  • Fonorette Portable record player, 1965
  • Le Mura sofa, 1972
  • Le Stelle, 1974
  • La Rotonda, 1977
  • CAB 414, 1982
  • Portatone PS-6100, 1985
  • Lira e Liuto, 1989
  • Goshikidai Marine Resort, Japan, 1993
  • Dubai Creek Complex , Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1994
  • Stolitza Towers, Moscow, 1996
  • Bellini Chair, 1998
  • Arco Bellini, 2000
  • Multifunctional Complex “MAB. Zeil Project”, Frankfurt, Germany, 2002
  • European Patent Office, L’Aja, Holland, 2004
  • UltraBellini chair, 2006
  • Le Bambole 2007, 2007
  • Sheikh Zayed National Museum International Competition, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2007
  • New Museum of the city of Berlin, Germany, 2008
  • Stradivani Sofa, 2009
  • Ki Chair, 2010
  • Oyster Extendable Table, 2011


Take some Mario Bellini home with you:

You bet 2Modern carries some of the designs of this amazing designer, architect and visionary. Like:

What’re you waiting for! Check out Mario Bellini on 2Modern, as well as all our previous bios, Richard Sapper, Philippe Starck and Frank Gehry.

Images: Wiki and Mario Bellini’s website
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