“In the mid Sixties, when we had only recently graduated, […] the three of us put forward a proposal to the Rinascente Development Office. We had heard that they were looking for an art director and we presented ourselves fairly boldly as three young and fertile brains capable of collectively taking on a job that was meant for one person. The Development Office was run by a true intellectual of the calibre of Augusto Morello, one of the first serious scholars of Industrial Design, who quickly decided to hire three young and inexperienced minds as consultants. We were friends: Roberto Orefice, very cultured, complicated, speculative and constantly searching, Mario Bellini, destined to a career of unstoppable triumphs, and me. Different times: even through it was split in three ways, the salary allowed us to start a family and find a home. That’s where everything began, including the special friendship with Mario Bellini, which led to future, and for me, important collaborations.” (Italo Lupi).
Born at Cagliari in 1934, Italo Lupi graduated in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic. He began his career at the Rinascente Development Office as a graphic design consultant between 1960 and 1962, after collaborating with an exceptional maestro: Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.
From the start he worked on the architecture of settings, coordinated graphic design and publishing projects and became one of the most important Italian designers and graphic artists of worldwide renown. Over the years he has received many international awards, including two Compasso d’Oro Awards.
After the important experience with Rinascente, he was image consultant for IBM Italia and the Triennale di Milano, art director of “Domus” and, from 1992 to 2007, editor-in-chief and art director of the magazine “Abitare”. He worked with some of the biggest names in publishing, design, architecture and fashion and created logos such as those for Miu Miu and Fiorucci.
He designed the graphics for large exhibitions and museums with advantageous collaborations of the architecture of Mario Bellini (Palazzo Grassi, Stupinigi, Triennale di Milano, Museum of the History of Bologna), Achille Castiglioni (RAI pavilions and BTicino, Pitti Immagine, XVII Triennale, Museo Correr in Venice), Guido Canali (exhibition on the 1700s at Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma). With Migliore and Servetto he designed the Look of the City of Turin for the 2006 Olympics and for the 150th anniversary celebrations for the Unification of Italy, encapsulated in the large illuminated installation on the Mole Antonelliana.
The selection presented here documents Italo Lupi’s collaboration with la Rinascente and includes graphic design and packaging projects, 3 photographs of the setting created with Mario Bellini for the sixth edition of the Compasso d’Oro at the Palazzo Reale, 2 folders and an advertisement showing standard furniture designed by colleagues Mario Bellini and Roberto Orefice of the Rinascente Development Office.
The selection also includes various Rinascente materials dated from 1950 to 1962 that Italo Lupi had collected over time. They include catalogues, folders, brochures, a poster and 6 sketches of settings by Roberto Sambonet.