Emilio Nanni was born in 1955 in Bazzano, a small town in Emilia Romagna near Bologna. He graduated from the School of Architecture in Florence in 1984, where he taught Furniture Design from 1990 to 1998. In 2000, he founded the Emilio Nanni ENd+a studio, initiating his intense professional activity between Bologna and Milan in architecture, design, graphic design and art direction. As an architect, he has designed many large-scale projects, using a design methodology that also refers to Bioarchitecture. Nanni has realised several residential projects, designed museum and exhibition layouts, and temporary architecture and interior design projects.
As Marco Romanelli states, "Emilio Nanni's language proposes, with great coherence, a personal and sophisticated interpretation of the minimalist current"; this definition reflects a poetics aimed at the continuous search for the essential, purity, elegance. His activity as a designer and creative is based on the relationship between form and function with careful investigation of the contemporary world, open to experimentation. In his work as a designer, he pays close attention to the role products play in everyday life and their aesthetic and functional implications. In art direction and design strategy, his activity includes integrated communications and marketing strategies in addition to product design. He interacts with the processes inherent in industrial production and the specifics of communication. He has worked for major companies, among which Accademia, AirnovaDesign, Billiani, Bross, Bonacina1889, Cabas, Calligaris, Ca/stil Italia, Cattelan Italia, Cyrcus, Da a Italia, De Castelli, Et al Italia/IFI Group, Guzzini, HauteMaterial, Laboratorio Pesaro, Lamm, Metals, Midj, Mdf Italia, Now Edizioni, Pampaloni , Pianca, Roche Bobois, Saba, Tonelli, Tonon, Trabà, Valadier Gioielli,Varaschin, Zeritalia, Zanotta.
Emilio Nanni has received numerous national and international prizes and awards, including the ADI Design Index 2000 for the Drake table by Tonelli; the ADI Design Index 2002 for the Drop armchair by Zanotta; the Red Dot Award 2016 for the Fratina chair by Billiani. He received the Red Dot Award 2017 for the Myra armchair produced by Et al. and the German Design Award 2018 for Special Mention. In 2019, he won the ADI Design Index 2018 for the Maestro table by Pianca, and in 2021 the German Design Award for Platea bergère.
Many of his works are present in important international public and private collections. He has participated in exhibitions, festivals and shows, including the solo exhibition entitled 'Strange Perspectives: Art and Design, an investigation into an exhausting relationship' held in 2017 at the Archiproducts Milan headquarters, where Nanni presented an eye-catching collection of graphic and pictorial works.
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