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Integrating the Arts #Ico Parisi #Luisa Aiani

The couple formed by Luisa Aiani and Ico Parisi developed their career from the Italian city of Como. They both met as members of the avant-garde group Alta Quota. Luisa had studied with Gio Ponti and began her professional career designing furniture together with her first husband Giovanni Galfetti, also a member of Alta Quota and who died in combat during World War II. Ico had worked with Giuseppe Terragni and also developed a career in fields such as stage design, theatre or cinema.

In 1948 they founded their own studio, La Ruota, which also functioned as a workshop and a showroom for their designs and works by related artists, ranging from Umberto Boccioni to Bruno Munari. Following Ponti‘s ideology, Luisa and Ico’s work covered all fields of design, from jewellery, glassware and ceramics to furniture and interior design.

The furniture designed, jointly or separately, by Luisa and Ico during the 1950s is usually included in the category of neoliberty due to the use of high-quality materials, the care given to construction details or the preference for organic and dynamic shapes. Despite this, their work draws from very diverse influences and moves between industrial production and artisan work. The armchair Model 813, known as Uovo and produced by Cassina, stands out among their pieces.

In architecture, they also sought the integration of all the arts by including in their houses furniture designed by Luisa and Ico, together with works of art such as the murals by Mario Radice or the sculptures by Francesco Somaini. One of their best-known works is the Padiglione di Soggiorno for the 10th Milan Trienale (1954), a spiral-shaped space covered by a folded sheet of concrete, in which their initial rationalism gives way to expressionist elements.

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