With a deep passion for art and drawing, Mario Cristiani (Milan, 10 February 1921 - Livorno, 24 July 2013) attended the Senior High School for Art Studies in Brera, against his family’s wishes. Indeed, his parents would have preferred him to choose humanistic or scientific studies. He continued his studies at the School of Architecture, Milan Polytechnic University.
In 1951 he participated in the 9th Triennale exhibition in Milan with Architect Luigi Fratino, and in the 11th (1957) and 12th (1960) Triennale with Architect Eugenio Gerli.
During this period he also worked at Gio Ponti’s design studio, also cooperating in the ongoing consulting services Architect Ponti offered the Rinascente Group. The move from Gio Ponti’s studio to the Rinascente’s Development Department was a seamless transition. In 1957 Mario Cristiani joined Rinascente as Augusto Morello’s right hand in the newly established Development Department, and was soon appointed its Manager. He later became Director of the Design Centre, an evolution of the initial Development Department, and held this position for the entire duration of his almost thirty-year long partnership with Rinascente.
Mario Cristiani was “Designer and Art Director of a broad range of functions involving corporate life, ranging from the development of new products to their completion and engineering process, including presentation tools for merchandise, packaging, and packing”. He was a professional and human landmark for all those who shared that experience with him in various moments and phases.
Following his experience at Rinascente, he provided consulting services for companies in the furnishing and furnishing accessories sector, and later settled down in his family home in Livorno, appreciating the marine climate that he had disliked in the past.
The works presented on the portal include miscellaneous advertising material: leaflets created for the Design Centre, in partnership with graphic designers and photographers, such as Salvatore Gregorietti and Aldo Ballo, with art direction by Adriana Botti Monti, and brochures with pricelists publicising furnishing elements designed by architects working at the Design Centre and marketed only by Rinascente.
Besides these we find: technical drawings of furnishing accessories designed by Mario Cristiani, some photographs of interior fittings for bedrooms, bathroom decor, and furnishings for the living room and kitchen, as well as original photographs of the Architect portrayed with other famous figures, such as Giovanni Bordoli, Lora Lamm, Georges Coslin and Franco Menna.
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