Ernesto Gismondi was born in Sanremo, Italy on 25th December 1937. He graduated in Aeronautical Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan in 1952 and later graduated in Missile Engineering at the School of Engineering in Rome. Since the early 60’s he dedicated himself to the design and manufacturing of lighting products. In 1959, together with designer Sergio Mazza, he founded Studio Artemide S.a.s., from which the Artemide Group will develop. Gismondi was also one of the creators of the Memphis Collective, the avant-garde movement that led to a deep change in the design sector in Italy and in the world. “With Memphis design has gone from a landscape of grey, rectangular and uniform furniture to completely new proposals”. [Ernesto Gismondi, Lezioni di Design]



The Memphis Collective, headed by architect and product designer Sottsass, had a philosophy of using colour as an integral part of life and to modify shapes, creating new products that until then were believed impossible, such as the table with only three legs. It was a move that made the designers free to express themselves without rules in a “new, colourful and cheerful world”. [Ernesto Gismondi, Lezioni di Design]

_background_murmansk_03                  lettuce

Murmansk, Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass.                   Lettuce, Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass.

alioth3                  tavolo

Alioth, Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass.                           Table Logo, Post Design, Richard Woods.


Today, Artemide Group has an international presence, and has become a major player in the field of lighting design, a role for which the group won important awards such as the Golden Compass Award for Career (1994) and the European Design Prize (1997) .
Initially, Artemide used a very advanced technique to manufacture furniture and lamps in plastic, but it revealed to be a very complex production requiring the use of moulds and innovative machinery that created products of excellent quality but extremely expensive. In the 60’s demand for plastic boomed, and with it Artemide. Many of the Artemide products designed during the time by famous architects such as Vico Magistretti and Richard Sapper, are today displayed in the best design museums in the world.


Ernesto Gismondi, Golden Compass Award for Career, 1994.


With the changes in the market over the years, plastic has given way to other, innovative materials. Artemide responded to these changes introducing plexiglass and metal, consistently creating products of the highest quality and greatest design.



An interesting fact. Gismondi designed some lamps for Artemide under the pseudonym of Orni Halloween, and later with his real name.

pantalica-suspension-pic-sq                                pantalica-wall-sq

Pantalica Susp. Lamp, O. Halloween, 1995/1996          Pantalica Wall Lamp, O. Halloween, 1995/1996


Among his collections for Artemide, we cannot forget Tetragono, Ilio, Granito and Miconos, products built with extremely refined materials, innovative shapes with unique and contemporary design perfect for both indoor and outdoor, formal and informal.

Tetragono_wall_by_Artemide_1                Ilio_by_Artemide_1

Tetragono, Outdoor Wall Light                                           Ilio, Floor Light

Granito_by_Artemide_1                Miconos_Soffitto_by_Artemide

Granito, Outdoor Floor Lights                                            Miconos, Ceiling Light


Throughout his career Gismondi was recognized for his talent, vision and dedication to tirelessly producing and promoting the best of Made in Italy design and manufacture. Among others, Gismondi held the position of vice president of ADI – Industrial Design Association, he was awarded the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year 2008” in the Innovation category and was appointed Cavaliere del Lavoro (literally, Knight of Labour) by the Italian President. In 2009, he was awarded the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year 2009” in the Communication category.
Gismondi’s goal has always been to design for people, provide them with a gratifying experience and promote general well-being. As a result, his, and Artemide’s, designs are not just simple lamps, they are design objects of the highest quality with their own culture and history, always very successful and current no matter how old they are.

Discover the genius of Ernesto Gismondi on

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