Zanotta appoints Calvi Brambilla Art Director

Zanotta – a historic Italian design company – entrusts the Art Direction of the brand to architects Calvi Brambilla.

The assignment focuses on directing and supervising aspects that contribute to expressing Zanotta’s personality and global image – from product to communication – with the goal of conveying the future vision on contemporary living through a strong identity consistent with its history.

The appointment represents a natural evolution of the consolidated and long-lasting partnership between Zanotta and the two designers Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla, who over the years, at trade fairs and institutional events, have been the creators of the exhibit design and curators of evocative narratives capable of narrating Zanotta’s identity and philosophy.

Calvi Brambilla, Art Director Zanotta: “We are proud to begin this collaboration with Zanotta in the role of art directors and very happy to inaugurate the new chapter of a long history. Starting from the reinterpretation of an important legacy, marked by collaboration with the greatest designers, we aim to create a collection that enhances the freshness of the designs and the quality of the details and materials that have always distinguished the brand’s catalogue”.

Giuliano Mosconi, President of Zanotta: “I am really pleased with this relationship already experienced in years of working together in the company’s presentations on the market and in the recent Lab project in Nova Milanese. Their knowledge of the company and their creative experience will help in the development of a more global dimension of the brand”.

Calvi Brambilla – Art Director Zanotta | ph Lea Anouchinsky

Studio Calvi Brambilla
Studio Associato Calvi Brambilla Architetti
Via Domenichino 11, 20149, Milano, Italy
T. +39 0236590995 / /


The world of the project is investigated through a creative approach in which imagination matters as much as the functional rigor and control in all the implementation phases.

Since 2006, Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla work together especially on interior architecture, set-ups and product design. A consolidated partnership, thanks to the ability to find the balance of sometimes opposed design visions that become complementary, there’s something stronger than the differences: the same perspective on making and thinking the Italian design, to create a unique style, appreciated both by professionals and a wider audience, especially through the set-ups: as shown by the many and varied awards for exhibitions (the exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Flos receives the signal to the Gold Medal for the Italian Architecture of the Triennale di Milano), installations (the studio wins the “LC50” competition in the occasion of the 50th anniversary of “I Maestri” collection) and exhibition stands (Zanotta and Antoniolupi booth projects have been selected for the ADI Design Index, while in 2017 the project of Flos stand at Euroluce 2017 wins the Salone del Mobile. Milano Award).

The working method is that assimilated by the great masters, Achille Castiglioni in particular, and gives life to concepts in which the idea is a synthesis that immediately makes the sense of the project readable; a subtle irony is the accent chosen to express oneself.

Color and light, often seen as a single essential tool for organizing space, become decorative elements in a pure and graphic sense.

In a creative landscape where trends lead to the uniformity of the aesthetic sense, the personality of the Calvi Brambilla studio is always expressed by surprise, placing the client at the center of the story and communicating its products and history with maximum efficiency.

Since 2019 Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla have been nominated Design Curator of the lighting company Flos.  Since 2023 they have been appointed Art Director by the furniture design company Zanotta.


Fabio Calvi (Pavia, 1969) graduated in Architecture in 1996 after studying at the Polytechnic of Milan and Brunel University of West London. He opened his own studio in 2004 debuting with the set up for the personal exhibition of Albert Watson in Milan.

Paolo Brambilla (Lecco, 1973) studied at the Polytechnic of Milan and the Polytechnic University of Barcelona and graduated in Architecture in 1999. He achieved the honorable mention in the architecture competition Europan 6 in 2001. He teached Interior Design at the School of Design of the Milan Polytechnic and he was a Councilor of the PPC Architects Order of Milan.

Company profile of Zanotta

Zanotta: is now

Zanotta has always been a catalyst for ideas, people, creativity, research and puts at the centre of the project a vision aimed at the future with culture and a touch of irony.

Zanotta is one of the representative brands of Italian design. The products, designed by great masters and today’s talents, are awarded with four Compasso d’Oro prizes and exhibited in over fifty important museums around the world.

Zanotta furnishings interact with space, relate to people, tell many different stories becoming the expression of an individual lifestyle. Objects are the protagonists of everyday life, they manifest their personality, they interpret their time, they express values such as comfort, ergonomics, functionality, flexibility, sustainability, formal research.

Zanotta is attentive to the contemporaneity of life, living, hosting, intercepting new needs, transposing ongoing social changes and translating them into significant and transversal furnishings, designed to last over time and be companions of life.

Zanotta conceives the house as something fluid and constantly evolving, so its proposal stimulates freedom of choice with objects capable of representing people, without imposing a style and bringing life, emotions, authentic design back to the centre.

Zanotta: is wow

Zanotta is plurality, goes through generations, connects people. All this is the legacy of Aurelio Zanotta who in 1954 began a new path with vision, courage, intuition: creator of a different way of doing business, supporter of beauty and total quality, promoter of democratic language and “extra-ordinary everyday life”, pioneer of innovative and sometimes disruptive project.

Since its very beginning Zanotta has demonstrated a marked multidisciplinary sensitivity: craftsmanship, graphics, photography, illustration, video, narration converge in an intense cultural promotion activity to enhance the design heritage and the personalities that have been part of it. It is thanks to this multifaceted approach that Zanotta products have become timeless icons and participate in numerous exhibitions and events in the field of design, art, architecture and fashion.

Today Zanotta is still the voice of objects, it is the surprise element they contain, it is the story they tell in their relationship with people and with space: the representation of products on the stage of life, a storytelling, intimate and personal, of the present and the future.

Zanotta: is how

The origins and values

Zanotta has always placed development, creativity, experimentation and project at the centre of its strategy. Considering it possible to combine profit and culture, it makes products with strong recognizability, based on the concept of good design, and on quality, functionality, comfort and durability. Since the 1960s, in fact, the brand has conquered the international scene thanks to emblematic, timeless objects, beyond the styles of the moment, with an approach to the market that strongly anticipated in terms of innovation, both from the point of view of aesthetic and functional research, and in the attention to represent the values of quality and authentic know-how.

The Design and designers

The project for Zanotta is the bearer of a meaning capable of establishing a link with those who will use the furnishings: the drawings thus translate into products destined to be used forever and handed down over the generations. The concept of sustainability for Zanotta is linked to the design synthesis and the definition of “good design”: a few simple components that are easy to assemble and disassemble; quality, and natural materials, not subject to rapid obsolescence and easily recyclable at the end of life; standardized test techniques; packaging solutions that reduce clutter and optimize transportation.

The development of the product in Zanotta is a dialogue between designers and the company, an exchange and a relationship between different people, skills and experiences.

Zanotta products have been signed by: Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Gae Aulenti, Marco Zanuso, Ettore Sottsass, Joe Colombo, Alessandro Mendini, Andrea Branzi, Carlo Mollino, Gabriele Mucchi, Piero Bottoni, De Pas D’Urbino Lomazzi, Enzo Mari, Superstudio, Bruno Munari, Alfredo Häberli, Roberto Barbieri, Ross Lovegrove, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, Atelier Oï, Damian Williamson, Gabriele Rosa, Lievore Altherr Molina , Garcia Cumini Associati, Philippe Nigro, Patrick Jouin, Patrick Norguet, Sebastian Herkner, Constance Guisset, Spalvieri & Del Ciotto, Monica Förster, Lanzavecchia+Wai, Studio Mist-o, Zaven.

Many icon objects have established themselves, which from design classics have become real long-sellers.

The range

Zanotta has developed over 550 products, of which 150 are currently in the collection, the result of collaboration with 140 designers.

Born as a company specialized in sartorial upholstery, Zanotta has opened up to new production scenarios over the years, first expanding the development and production of furnishings for home and outdoor and, more recently, for soft-contract.

The catalogue is now developed according to different types of furniture: sofas, armchairs, tables, chairs, tables, desks, beds, storage units, bookcases and furnishing accessories.

The Zanotta Edizioni collection since 1989 combines the product range with objects that blend design and applied art: the pieces of this collection, freed from the constraints of industrial production, have a strong “handmade” working component. Revisiting the most significant aspects of the tradition of Italian artistic craftsmanship, they re-propose techniques such as mosaic, inlay or pictorial decoration. The small series in which they are made and the limited numbering increase their value over time.

Prizes and acknowledgments

Zanotta products are mentioned in the design history books, they are exhibited in the collections of 55 of the most important museums in the world (MoMA and Metropolitan Museum in New York, George Pompidou Centre in Paris, Triennale Design Museum in Milan, Design Museum in London, Museum of Art and Crafts of Berlin, Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein , Israel Museum of Jerusalem…), and have won numerous awards and acknowledgments, including four Compasso d’Oro ADI (three product awards: in 1968 for Roberto Menghi’s Guscio shed, in 1979 for the Sciangai coat hanger by De Pas D’Urbino Lomazzi, in 1987 for Enzo Mari’s Tonietta chair. And in 2021 the lifetime achievement award for the Sacco easy chair by Gatti, Teodoro and Paolini).

Production and distribution

Zanotta production is 100% Made in Italy and is mainly carried out in Nova Milanese plants, in the constant choice of materials of the best quality and sustainable processes for both people and the environment. The headquarters includes the production departments, the operational offices (designed by De Pas D’Urbino and Lomazzi in 1988) and Zanotta: Lab, an exhibition and experiential hub of the brand designed to share skills, values, behaviours and strategies favouring the growth of external and internal collaborators, partners, customers and stakeholders.

Since 2017 the company has also been present in Milan with Zanotta House Milano a representative space based in the historic architecture of the former Excise Building at Porta Garibaldi, a suggestive and emotional place where you can discover different interpretations of contemporary living through transversal products and languages.

The commercial distribution uses 2 Flagship Stores (Seoul, Miami) and more than 500 selected retailers in the main cities around the world, with a presence in 60 countries and an export share that exceeds 80% of turnover.