One of the most famous and influential architects of the 20th century, Gio Ponti (1891 — 1979) revolutionized the worlds of architecture and design.
Born in Milan, Italy, he earned a degree in architecture after serving his country’s military in WWI. He took his first job with an Italian ceramics company, serving as artistic director, and began to pursue architecture soon afterward. It is possible that his early career in ceramics design influenced the rest of his career, as Ponti never viewed architecture as simply creating buildings. Instead, he usually conceived minute details of the building’s interior as well, creating furniture (chairs, coffee tables), lighting appliances, and even items like ceramics, glassware, and silverware.
As if creating entire structures from the outside in wasn’t enough, Gio Ponti also lectured at the university level, inspiring future generations of architects all over the world. He played a valuable role in publishing, serving as the inspiration behind two prestigious art and design magazines. Ponti’s goal was to integrate the art and architecture worlds, as he believed a building should both serve a purpose and be a visually pleasing addition to a city.