A native Scot from Glasgow, today Mackintosh is considered a fundamental reference point for Liberty style, although his line was very personal, because his ideas essentially anticipated the times. His architectural designs, conceived for elementary volumetric blocks, are aspired to an extreme clarity and structural rationality.

A Dutchman, Rietveld was one of the most innovative designers of interiors and furnishings in the 20th century, already working with wood at the age of 11 in his father’s cabinetmaking shop. In 1911 he began to design and build furniture on his own, studying architecture at the same time.

Charismatic, elegant, eccentric, an authentic genius, the American Frank Lloyd Wright enjoyed a long, full-fledged career: he developed more than thousand designs of houses, buildings, churches, schools, libraries, bridges and museums, and also furniture pieces, lamps, table furnishings, fabrics and graphic arts.

The famous and prolific French architect Philippe Starck is considered one of the major names in contemporary design. Equally appreciated and detested, Starck is renowned for his qualities as a designer, an intelligent and cultured self-educated, poetic creator who was free of conformisms, but guided by an extremely controlled professionalism.

One of the most significant and influential architects of the 20th century, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is considered the most rigorous of the Rationalists, with his pure, perfectly geometric spaces, organized on planes free from the restrictions of walls.

GrayIrish and aristocratic by birth, Eileen Gray was trained at the Slade School of Fine Arts of London and in 1902 she moved to Paris. With her extraordinary, creative and unusual personality, she represented the “new woman” of the 1900s: she wore her hair “like a man,” she smoked in public, drove a car, and flew in an airplane. She had romances with men and women and went to restaurants and nightclubs with them, even wearing men’s clothing. She honed her own sensitivity as an artist among some of the major cultural figures of the age: Colette, Gide, Proust, Rilke, Joyce and Gertrude Stein.

Born in Italy, Bertoia moved to the United States with his family when he was fifteen years old. There he studied painting and sculpture. His interests were extensive and varied: initially a painter, he worked primarily as a sculptor, then as a jewellery disigner, teacher of working materials’ techniques and finally furniture designer. His partnerships with Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames also proved decisive in his career.

Finnish architect and designer, Eero Saarinen studied sculpture in Paris and then architecture at Yale. He was awarded a scholarship, which enabled him to return to Europe for few years. When he went back to America, he joined the architecture practice of his father Eliel – a figure of great importance in the European Art Nouveau movement – contributing to major projects.

After his early unsuccessful experiences as an architect, Charles Eames taught industrial design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Among his colleagues were Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen and Ray Kaise; Eames went on to marry Kaise, with whom he shared both his work and his life.

Swiss born, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris spent his youth travelling through Europe, coming in contact, among other things, with the Sezession environment in Vienna and with Gropius and Mies van der Rohe in Berlin. In his early thirties, he opened his legendary architecture studio in Paris. In addition to becoming immensely famous as an architect, Le Corbusier was also an urban planner, painter, sculptor and writer. His collaborations with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand were decisive.

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