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Ico Parisi

Italy (1916-1996)

Domenico Parisi, nick­named Ico, was born in Palermo on the 23rd of Septem­ber 1916 to Sicil­ian parents who were living in the Pied­mont region. In 1925 the Parisi family moved to Como where Ico earned his diploma as a build­ing inspec­tor in 1936 and completed an appren­tice­ship at Studio Terragni. The studio gave him the oppor­tu­nity to get to know and inter­act with promi­nent figures of Como’s archi­tec­ture and art world such as Catta­neo, Lingeri, Radice, Rho, Persico and Sartoris. Passion­ate about cinema and photog­ra­phy, at Studio Terrag­ni’s request he photographed the Casa del Fascio. Discharged from the front in 1943, he returned to Como and resumed his design activ­ity, mainly working on indi­vid­ual furnish­ings, exhi­bi­tion stands and inte­rior archi­tec­ture. He collab­o­rated with Luisa Aiani and soon married her in 1947. Together they opened the studio La Ruota, a place of design but also a place of art, exhi­bi­tions and culture.Parisi’s work became more and more prolific from the 1950s, in both the archi­tec­tural and design fields. He designed furni­ture, firstly unique pieces with crafts­men from Brianza and later for indus­trial produc­tion with compa­nies such as Cassina, as well as numer­ous deco­ra­tive art objects using mate­ri­als such as ceram­ics and glass. The late 1960s marked a precise turning point in his design research. With Conteni­to­ri­u­mani, created in collab­o­ra­tion with the sculp­tor Francesco Somaini and presented for the first time at the Milan Furni­ture Fair in 1968, Parisi embarked on a new path of inves­ti­ga­tion aimed at defin­ing a utopian-exis­ten­tial idea of living.The culmi­na­tion of his design and exis­ten­tial research came between 1974 and 1976 with Oper­azione Arcevia”, addressed in a collec­tive and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary manner and aimed at design­ing an entire commu­nity. The work was presented at the 76th Bien­nale of Venice and subse­quently exhib­ited at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome (1979).This strongly utopian socio-urban expe­ri­ence gave rise to his subse­quent graphic research, which became the theme of innu­mer­able collec­tive and personal exhi­bi­tions. He died in Como on the 19th of December 1996.


Designs by Ico Parisi (4)