Designers

Piero Lissoni: The Quiet Maestro

Piero Lissoni

Honest, witty, charismatic, charming and genuine are some of the words used to describe Italian designer Piero Lissoni. Another word to describe this man with an affable smile and warm personality is "legend".

Born in 1956, Piero Lissoni graduated from the Milan Polytechnic with a degree in architecture in 1978. His talent was quickly recognized and by 1985, he was working as Art Director and Designer with Boffi Kitchens – an Italian architecture firm specializing in kitchen and bathroom designs.

But the designer was clearly destined for life under the arc lights. Just a year later in 1986, Lissoni founded his architectural firm Lissoni Associati together with Nicoletta Canesi in Milan. More than three decades later, the studio continues to be their baby.

The designer has created an extensive portfolio of designs for premium European brands like Kartell, Porro, Cassina, and FLOS in addition to lending his vision to Graph.X, a graphic design company that focuses on artwork for corporate identity, signage and packaging.

Tight Light wall sconce

Lissoni has worked on a multitude of projects designing furniture, kitchens, bathrooms, and lighting fixtures that he creates for brands like FLOS. But this is just tip of the proverbial iceberg. Many of his projects involve full-scale architecture and interiors of private spaces ranging from offices and showrooms to yachts, hotels and even homes.

Some of the luxury hotels to his credit include the Monaco & Grand Canal in Venice, the Al Porto Hotel on Lake Zurich, the Bentley Design Hotel in Istanbul, and the Mitsui Garden Ginza Hotel in Tokyo.

Among his more recent work that has blown people away is the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam’s Museum Square area.

Described as a leading luxury lifestyle palace targeting the sophisticated, design-literate travelers, the Conservatorium Hotel is an architectural masterpiece with modern, elegant interiors. Inaugurated just three years ago, the hotel has quickly risen to fame to become one of Amsterdam’s most stylish getaways.

While Lissoni has expressed his love for Amsterdam, it is New York that feels like the most "European" city in the world to him. He feels completely at home in this hot pot of cultures and recently made his professional debut in the city by designing the Sky Lounge atop the AKA Hotel at Times Square.

The prolific designer has created many masterpieces for FLOS over the years. Some of his latest designs for FLOS making waves include the modern Long Light wall lamp, the sophisticated Tight Light ceiling lamp (image above), and the extremely graceful Mini Button wall mount fixture (image below).

Mini Button wall lighting fixture on terrace

His projects may be larger than life, but the designer swears by simplicity and is known for his minimalist approach. He is also a humanist who believes that Italian designs need to be made in Italy. Perfection "bores" him. Instead, he strives for greater precision in design and greater control over the process.

And if you thought Lissoni is all about design and little else, think again. The man who can mesmerize you when he speaks, he is an avid traveler who travels 200 days in a year, an ardent dog-lover, and a remarkable chef.