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Umberto Asnago is a contemporary Italian designer. Born in 1949 in Barlassina in the heart of the Brianza furniture district, he learned the secrets of woodworking at a very young age, apprenticing in local carpenter shops. He graduated from the Cantù Art Institute in 1968 and joined the Giorgetti furniture company in Meda, which boasts a family tradition dating to 1898. Curious and inclined to experiment, he soon became head of the Giorgetti Design Research Centre. In the 1970s, the company began an intense process of industrialisation and innovation that led to the expansion of its domestic and foreign markets. In 1987, the Giorgetti Design Research Centre signed the Progetti collection, a series of sofas and armchairs characterised by a unique wooden armrest, propelling the company into the ranks of Made-in-Italy ambassadors throughout the world.
In 2017, Asnago created the limited Pure Armchair edition to celebrate the Progetti collection's thirtieth anniversary. In the meantime, the designer left the company that had been his home for many years to begin his career as an independent designer. In 2006, furniture manufacturers in Brianza started to call upon the skills of designers to consolidate their brands. This was the case of Fratelli Orsenigo, for whom Umberto Asnago created a series of tables and chairs in steel, glass, leather and solid wood. Frigerio Salotti commissioned tables and armchairs in wood and leather. I 4 Mariani commissioned Asnago to design upholstered armchairs, tables and sideboards.
With time and experience, Asnago created a personal style that moved away from his early postmodern tendencies when he worked for Giorgetti. His furnishings combine elegance and formal rigour, leaving the designer's preferred materials to play the leading role - starting with solid wood, Asnago's first love, and including other noble materials like leather, steel and glass, recently joined by marble and porcelain stoneware. His work has extended to other companies, including Busnelli, Medea, Porada and Penta Light, for which he became art director. In 2007 he designed the Naviglio sofa for Arflex, followed by the Carpe Diem sofa for Busnelli (2013), the Flavio walnut executive desk for Porada (2014) and the iconic MoM lamp collection for Penta Light (2016). Asnago renewed his collaboration with Giorgetti in 2011, creating numerous elegant and refined furnishings and collections. They include the Desigual table, Mobius armchairs, the Janet armchair, the Corum desk and the Hypnos bed.
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