An architect, designer and an artist, Gio Ponti (Milan 1891-1979) graduated in Milan in 1921 and initially entered into partnership with Emilio Lancia and Mino Fiocchi from 1927 to 1933. In 1927 he founded Il Labirinto with Lancia, Buzzi, Marelli, Venini and Chiesa in order to produce high-quality furniture and objects. From 1923 to 1930 he has been Richard Ginori’s artistic director. Ponti made an large contribution to the renewal of the Italian production in the sector with his creation of Domus magazine in 1928 (which he presided over almost constantly until his death). Ponti has been a strong supporter of the Monza Biennale, then the Milan Triennale, of the Compasso d’Oro awards and of ADI (Association of Industrial Design).
As an architect, he designed the symbol of modern Milan, the Pirelli skyscraper, a collaboration with Fornaroli, Rosselli and Nervi in 1956. In 1951, he completed the second Palazzo Montecatini (his first office building dates back to 1938-39). In 1957 he designed the super-celebrated Superleggera chair for Cassina, the crowning achievement of a long and fruitful working association. He also contributed to the field of design as an educator, teaching at the Faculty of Architecture in Milan from 1936 to 1961.