Born in Milan in 1918, Achille Castiglioni pursued a degree in architecture from the Politecnico di Milano University and graduated in the late 1930s. After graduation, Achille teamed up with his brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo, and the Castiglioni trio opened a design office in Milan.
Initially, this trio worked on small-scale objects because, at the time, there were no significant assignments that required large-scale objects. For quite a while, the brothers worked together before Livio Castiglioni left in 1952 to work on light and sound installation, leaving Achille and Pier Castiglioni working together to invent some of the most recognized designs that took lighting to the next level.
After WWII, Achille Castiglioni joined the studio as a licensed architect and became one of the Association for Industrial Design founding members. The Castiglioni trio was among the most renowned industrial designers. Even with Livio parting ways with the two, they still went ahead to create some of the best and practical works industrial design has ever seen. Achille was a design master in Italy, with some of his works, Arco and Brera lamps being permanent collections of several museums. Interestingly, 14 of his pieces are in New York in the Museum of Modern Art.
He used fundamental principles to make his works, with most of them being paradoxes. To him, a designer should not take a previous similar object; they should take time to understand the reason for improving the object or creating a new one and using the available resources. One of his mottoes in designs was that design required observations of everyday objects; that is the starting point of a structure.
The accomplished designer has won 9 "Compasso d'Oro" awards. Additionally, in 1989, he got a special mention as an individual who dedicated his life to bettering industrial design. Achille Castiglioni remains an integral part of Industrial design.