10 October 2023 — 1 minutes read
Through the words of Alessandro Deserti, Director of the Department of Design, we remember the architect and designer Andrea Branzi
Andrea served as a Full Professor in the Department of Design and was the President of the Interior Design Program for several years, leaving a significant cultural imprint that was unique on the international scene.
Andrea joined the Politecnico di Milano after co-founding and leading the Domus Academy, already establishing himself as a prominent figure in the global design community. He was an intellectual who could stimulate discussions with advanced and original visions that stood out from the crowd. This was a trait that Andrea possessed from the beginning of his long career, starting with the formation of the "radical" movement, which opposed what he referred to as the equally radical social and cultural conformity of the early 1960s.
Over the years, Andrea was able to uniquely combine his roles as a designer and theorist, developing critical thinking about the discipline and interpreting its historical evolution and future prospects in a personal way. In this regard, he was certainly a master, to whom we owe much, and his thoughts and insights directed our interest towards specific topics and the way we approached them. For example, I think of how Andrea anticipated environmental issues many years ahead of time, addressing them at the intersection of the design and art worlds, where he could draw sharp observations about society with a consistently critical and often provocative spirit, allowing him to observe and interpret many phenomena in new and unique ways.
I remember an occasion when I was a guest at his home to discuss a research project we were conducting. He showed me various products developed for major companies, emphasizing with a certain pride and satisfaction how little commercial success they had achieved. For him, this was tangible proof of how these objects, in line with his critical thinking, were like small manifestos designed to convey messages rather than mass-produced products created within the constraints of industry logic.