After studying at the Brera Academy and Milan Polytechnic, Joe Colombo worked as a painter, architect, graphic artist and industrial manager. From 1960 he devoted himself exclusively to design, and in 1968 he organised an exhibition for the XIV Triennale presenting new ideas in design and interior decoration, including his Programmable System for Living, and in 1972 the exhibition “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” at the MOMA in New York included his design for a Global Furnishing Unit. A number of designs by Colombo are now part of the permanent collection at MOMA, and his work continues to be produced by companies including Zanotta. In what was a short career spanning only 10 years, Colombo produced numerous pieces for Zanotta including the Grinta armchair, the Mastro table, and Birilio bar stool.

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