Graphic Novel illustrates Achille Castiglioni's work and life

His daughter Giovanna has published two books on the stories surrounding her father's iconic design

by Rossana Vinci
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“Objects must keep company” said Castiglioni, and this makes us well under-stand his idea of design. Good design, in addition to being functional and aesthetically appealing, must be easy to use, comfortable. This means that objects acquire a familiarity, one more reason to love them.


From the moment he set up his studio in Milan in 1944, with his brother Pier Giacomo, Achille Castiglioni  set about taking ordinary things and translating them into delightful solutions for everyday life.


His daughter Giovanna has just published two flip books edited by Corraini dedicated to Achille Castiglioni as her father and great designer. Through the illustrations by Sara Vivan, she tells how the most famous projects of her father were born.


Giovanna and Achille Castiglioni 



Giovanna has explained her decision to publish a graphic novel and her relationship with her father Archille as follows: 


“We talk about industrial design in different ways: talking about or drawing an idea, through a critical essay, staging a show, with images, audio-video or, why not, with a new type of language as in this flip book. I have been asked several times to write a book on the stories surrounding my father Achille’s designs, including anecdotes and episodes related to my family sphere.”




“In this first project I wanted to offer, in two seconds, one story of Industrial Design. Respecting the irony of an extraordinary father, I wanted to bring to light some lesser-known details of his, my and our private lives, translating what I normally do when I talk about his projects into graphic form.” 


Giovanna Castiglioni was born in Milan, where she lives, in 1972. She put aside her degree in geology to manage the stratification of projects in her father Achille’s studio, which is now a museum and foundation open to the public. She coordinates the Foundation’s cultural heritage archiving activities and disseminating the “Castiglioni method” to a public of all ages, cultures and interests from all over the world. She supports exhibitions on Castiglioni and is the curator, together with Chiara Alessi and Domitilla Dardi, of the project “100x100 Achille” which presents a collection of more than 100 anonymous objects donated to mark the centenary of the birth of her father by more than 100 international designers.

She gives lectures, lessons and workshops around the world focusing on dynamic interactions with the public, who she always asks to do mental gymnastics and...she does not yet know what she wants to do when she grows up! 



Sara Vivan was born in Milan, where she lives, in 1971. After graduating in fashion design at the I.E.D. in Milan, she worked for Aspesi (for the Comme des Garçonnes Comme des Garçonnes line), Blumarine (for the Anna Molinari line) and Alberto Biani. She then attended the School of the Nude in Brera and dedicated herself to illustration. She has been published by Valentina Edizioni, Einaudi.





© Courtesy of Corraini Edizioni and Fondazione Achille Castiglioni 





  • Stefania Ragusa

    Articolo bellissimo, ma da signorina precisetti (quale sono) devo rilevare che non si tratta di una graphic novel ma di un flip-book 🙂