Franco Albini (October 17, 1905 – November 1, 1977) was an Italian architect and designer. After graduating from the Milan Polytechnic in 1929, Albini started out working in the studio of Gio Ponti. He started his own studio in 1930 where he collaborated frequently with Franca Helg. He began showing his work in the Milan Triennials of the 1930s and was part of a 1946 exhibit of furniture in which the items addressed the problem of designing for small spaces and featured a number of stacking and folding chairs. His office also designed interiors, such as the Zanini Fur Shop in Milan, which was completed in 1945. He was an editor for Casabella in the 1940s and from 1946 to 1947 he worked closely with Cesare Cassina in a program to enhance his company by meeting regularly and collaborating with individual designers. In 1928 Albini designed the now-iconic"Albini Desk", combining steel, glass and wood with a striking minimalistic balance, and introduced by Knoll in 1949. In 1950 he designed the famous and fashionable "Margherita" and "Gala" chairs, made of woven cane. In 1952 he created the "Fiorenza" armchair for Arflex; in 1955 the "Luisa" chair; in 1956 the "Rocking chaise" for Poggi. During the 1960s, his work was geared more towards industrial design and larger architecture projects. He designed the Rinascente building in Rome in 1961. In 1964 he, Helg and Bob Noorda collaborated on a project to design several stations within the Milan subway system. Their plan was centered on a desire to keep the individual identity of each stop, while unifying the design through repeated materials and a consistent font and style for the signs identifying the stations. For Brionvega he designed a television that was exhibited at the 1964 Milan Triennial. During this period he also produced several lamps for Arteluce. Throughout his career he was the recipient of three Compasso d´Oro awards.
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