Born in Liguria (La Spezia, 1954) but now based in Milan, Stefano Giovannoni graduated from the School of Architecture in Florence in 1978, where he taught and conducted research until 1991. He continued to teach at Domus Academy in Milan, the Università del Progetto in Reggio Emilia and the School of Architecture at the University of Genoa, where he held the Industrial Design course for several years. His encounters with Andrea Branzi, Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass in the mid-1980s were formative, strongly influencing his approach to the world of design and laying solid cultural foundations for the budding designer. In 1989, in collaboration with Guido Venturini, he created the Girotondo steel tray for Alessi, a successful product and the first in a series of objects that have sold over seven million pieces worldwide.
This marked the beginning of Stefano Giovannoni's fruitful partnership with Alessi, which saw him design bestsellers like the Mami pots and various plastic products. This led to provocative, playful and ironic objects like the Lilliput salt and pepper shaker, the Cico egg holder, the Merdolino toilet brush, the Bunny and Carrot toilet roll holder, the Magic Bunny toothpick holder and the Fruit Mama fruit bowl. In 1996, he designed the Bombo stool for Magis, an icon of design combining plastic and chrome-plated steel, merging aesthetics, function and versatility. Giovannoni has collaborated extensively with leading names in design like Bisazza, Elica, Ghidini 1961, Moooi and brands like 3M, Nestlé, Fiat, Lavazza, Nissan and Samsung. His projects and products have won him numerous prizes and awards: Design Plus in Frankfurt, 100% Design in London, Interior Design magazine's Best of Year 2012 in New York and the 2013 Wallpaper magazine Design Awards in London.
In 1985, he was commissioned by Alessandro Guerriero to design several installations in Japan for Alchimia; in 1991, he created the Italian pavilion for the exhibition "Le Capitales Europeennes du nouveau design" at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. This was followed over the years by a number of installations for important exhibitions and institutions like the Venice Biennale and the Milan Triennale. In 2016, along with his brother Paolo, he founded Qeeboo, an Italian brand specialising in ironic and playful furnishings, lamps, furniture and design objects. The brand's ever-expanding catalogue includes successful products and items like the Rabbit chair, the Kong lamp and the Killer umbrella stand.
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