Claudio Salocchi was an Italian architect and designer. He was a protagonist of the creative ferment of the 60s and 70s who knew how to interpret the transformations of that period into projects that anticipated forms, functionalities, technologies and new typologies that became trends many years later.
In his long career he was internationally involved for more than fifty years in the fields of industrial design, architecture and interior design.
He was an independent and unclassifiable figure: as a designer, his works are related to the exclusive collaboration with some companies born at that time that rapidly stood out for their unique products, giving to the history of Italian Design an important contribution that still needs to be rediscovered and fully analysed.
Claudio Salocchi’s creative cooperation with the young entrepreneur Luigi Sormani started at the beginning of the 60s and lasted for twenty years. Among the most important pieces we should remember the revolving bookcase, Centro, his first product designed in 1959, but also some futuristic projects like the series Elisse, made in 1966 with the innovative use of extruded aluminium profiles, managed with aesthetical and functional value. The same year Lia was realized: a leather cantilever chair characterized by an innovative structure with cold-forged aluminium bars. The archetypical “sofa” Paione was designed in 1968 with low and deep modular elements that transformed the living area and created a new informal way of staying together. In 1971, again with Sormani, Aloa was produced: one of the very first halogen lamps for domestic use. In the same year, at the Salone del Mobile, Appoggio was presented: an unusual vertical seat thought for the new needs of work, transport, waiting… also for a new world.
The lighting projects and padded furniture, signed in the 70s and 80s with the brand Skipper, are equally innovative and suggest new ways of life. The dream of a modern and unconventional home materialized in the lamp Ri-flessione, the sofa Feeling and above all the Free System.
During these decades, the Italian companies of the field showed a unique openness for experimentations. This atmosphere led to the creative experience with Lumenform that generated many modular series made with blown glass, such as Zea, a floor lamp made in 1968, Onda, a ceiling and wall lamp, Fluo, an essential extruded aluminium stem that covers a fluorescent tube, and the metaphysical table lamp Tulpa in 1971.
In the mid-80s started the long collaboration with Rossi di Albizzate with the creation of high-quality padded furniture that marked the return to more traditional typologies, always enriched with innovative and personal details.
In the 90s, in a moment of great transformation for industrial design, Claudio Salocchi started a close cooperation with handcrafted productions, especially with Bottega Gadda and Pierluigi Ghianda. This marked a continuous dialogue between design and architecture, where the projects regained the spirit of Genius loci and the objects were proposed in limited and customized series.
The whole fifty years of Claudio Salocchi’s activity comprised all the projects for Alberti Cucine, starting from the mid-60s with the first version of model S60, that introduced new ergonomic and household standards. The search for a synthesis between form and function reached its peak with MetrOsistema, a project of multifunctional cabinets, awarded in 1979 with Compasso d’Oro.
Member of ADI (Association for Industrial Design) since 1967, of whom he was vice-president between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, Claudio Salocchi was an active contributor in the promotion of Italian design.
He researched and was interested in prefabrication, creativity and design matters, as exemplified in his participation for different editions of Eurodomus. With his cross-cultural collaboration with artist friends like Ugo Carrega and Vincenzo Ferrari - with whom he formed the group “Ricerche Non Finalizzate” - he took part in the expositions at the Triennale di Milano in 1968 and 1973. At the 15th edition in 1973 he presented with Sormani Napoleone, the original series of tables and display cabinets.
In 1984 he organized and curated the important exhibition “Cucina&Cultura” at the Fiera di Milano, where he anticipated the most recent trends about the interactions among complementary fields.
As for architecture, his work found its best expression in the refurbishing of pre-existing buildings, transformed in a functional and modern way. These renovations produced a new dialogue between the landscape and lands of the soul, often with the magic touch of contemporary art. At the same time, it’s worth remembering many surprising and avantgarde set-ups for furniture and jewellery that attracted the audience in a synthetic vision of scenario and refined details.