Italo Lupi (Cagliari 1934) died at the age of 89 in Milan in his home, dying away in his sleep and leaving us in silence with his elegant and gentle understated attitude that characterized him.
His dense and multifaceted graphic work has defined new ways of communication without concealing an ever-present architectural sensibility.
Italo Lupi's professional career developed in Milan, a city he loved together with his London, and which saw him complete his studies at the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic in 1959, to become an assistant to Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, one of the undisputed masters of Italian design, older brother of Achille.
From his first steps as a teacher, Lupi will develop over time an uninterrupted activity focused on exhibition and editorial design in the broadest sense.
From image consultant for the Rinascente of the 60s (with Max Huber and Gloria Lamm) to the commitment with the Compasso d'Oro dell'ADI where he designed with the friend Mario Bellini the exhibition for the sixth edition (1960).
The link with the Industrial Design Association has never been interrupted, not only for having received, among the many well-deserved awards, three Golden Compasses (1998 for the cultural magazine IF; 2008 for Look of The City, urban layout in Turin, for the Winter Olympics with Migliore & Servetto; 2014 career award), up to signing the new logo and graphics of the ADI Museum Compasso d'Oro recently opening.
From designing a book or magazine page to designing a cover; from the idea of a temporary or permanent museum layout to that of an urban space, Italo Lupi knew how to govern the different scales with great skill, the result of a vast architectural culture open to contamination and synergies, even if he defined himself as a designer “above all graphic”.
Many magazines have known his sign, and among those of architecture Zodiac (founded by Adriano Olivetti) in 1970-73; Domus for which he worked as editor-in-chief alongside Mario Bellini from 1986 to 1992; but it is certainly with Abitare that Italo forged a deep bond, collaborating there from 1974 to 1986 and then taking over the reins as director from 1992 to 2007.
Here Lupi examines the theme of the home in relation to interior design, the design of objects, but also with respect to the link with the landscape and the city.
With his cohesive and attentive editorial team, which included Marco Romanelli and Beppe Finessi among others, Lupi will develop, also with the collaboration of Fulvio Irace, a transversal reading of urban facts, especially in the memorable numbers of the month of May dedicated to the cities of the world, where various reference disciplines outlined in a forerunner way a synergy of infradisciplinary reading, capable of defining a fertile documentary and critical flow that we cannot do without today.
Together with ADI Lupi, he collaborates with the Triennale, of which we remember, in addition to many exhibitions, the famous red graphic-architectural logo with a "T" that supports the stylized front of the entrance.
We built the ADI Museum with him and in the chaotic days of setting up, in the midst of futile tensions and in the times that ran away from us and that we chased after together, we appreciated his ways, his requests for shades of color to reach the solution final, the suggestions and above all his great kindness.
One day, concealing a slight embarrassment, he asked me if I could send him a photo of my father Gio Vercelloni, telling me that they had been great friends and that he would have liked to have a portrait of him.
Because for Italo friendship was a value, the basis for working together.