22 Oct-8 Jan 2012. Gio Ponti was one of the most important Italian architects, industrial designers, furniture designers, artists, and publishers of the 20th century. Born in Milan in 1891, Ponti initially studied architecture but was forced to interrupt his course to serve in the Italian army during world war one, completing it on his return. Then, rather than practising as an architect, he became art director of a ceramics manufacturer, Richard-Ginori of Milan. It was under his artistic direction that the link between art and industry began, which still characterises the work of the factory today.
During his time at Richard-Ginori, from 1923 to 1930, Ponti turned the company into a role model of industrial design. He decorated simple, traditional ceramic forms, which showed off elegant neo-classical motifs, and was the foremost practitioner of the