Gino Colombini

The Italian designer Gino Colombini became technical director of Kartell in 1953. Established by the chemical engineer Giulio Castelli in 1949, Kartell has always specialized in making articles of plastic, remaining to the present day a leading design firm working with this material. Kartell transforms utilitarian objects for everyday use into plastic objects notable for beauty of form. Gino Colombini designed many of these household objects, experimenting with the possibilities of the material and revolutionizing the small, reasonably priced everyday things so they were no longer drab and colorless but instead colorful and modern. Gino Colombini’s designs include a carpet beater (1957), a lemon squeezer (1958), wash basins, salad colanders, and lunch boxes. In 1959 Colombini designed a scoop with a long, upright handle so that it was no longer necessary to bend down over a dustpan and brush while cleaning. A particularly well known Gino Colombini design is his round umbrella stand (1965), made of ABS plastic with a steel ashtray as an added accessory. Gino Colombini was technical director at Kartell until 1960. He was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for his Kartell designs in 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960.

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