Alberto Rosselli, co-founder of the Association for Industrial Design, was an architect, designer, and Italian teacher. He was born in Palermo, Italy, on March 6, 1921. He was considered the “innovator” of architecture. As a matter of fact, Rosselli was the pioneer and one of the primary architects to emphasize the idea of industrial design.
In 1947, Rosselli graduated from Milan Polytechnic University, with a degree in architecture. Soon after, Rosselli became the pioneer of Industrial Design, where he proposed new teaching and guided techniques about different methodological principles. Some of these principles are primary involved in the academic activity field. The concept and process of “decision-making” in design was identified by Roselli, which he later introduced to the faculty of architecture in the University of Milan.
Alberto Rosselli was aware that his design actions were involved with the reconstruction of Italy. For that, he decided to design furniture pieces that could be modern, simple, and especially affordable. In 1951, he decided to design the first kitchen for a two-person apartment. The kitchen was designed to be functional, and adaptable for the different living conditions. These two principles became the peak point for practicing his concepts and ideas.


Rosselli was inspired by the work of Gio Ponti. Ponti was born in Italy in 1891, and was an architect, an artist, a publisher, an industrial and a furniture designer. Rosselli considered Ponti his ‘father’, a role model, and a figure he found to follow and study. In the 1950’s, he began to work with Gio Ponti, and Antonio Fornaroli in Milan. Together they founded Ponti Fornaroli Rosselli (P.F.R) Studio, where he collaborated from 1951, until he passed away in March 7, 1976. During his time in P.F.R., precisely in 1954, he was involved in the planning of the Pirelli Tower; this was his first architectural project. Later, in 1958, he designed the Convent of Carmelo in San Remo, and in 1967, he designed a Meteor Coach with Japanese aerospace engineer, Isao Hosoe. For that, he won his first Compasso d’Oro at the Milan Triennale in 1970.
From 1954 to 1963, Rosselli became the director in charge of the Style Industry Magazine. There he contributed with various essays in the subject matter of design, architecture, and the arts. These essays began to mark and change the history of Italian publishing. For a period of time the magazine was only a sprout trial for the DOMUS magazine, however, the Style Industry rapidly attained its own complete independence, with the support of Alberto Rosselli. In 1954, Rosselli founded the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale, where he became the first president of the association. Later, from 1961 to 1963, he became the vice president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
Rosselli was considered a role model in the University of Milan for his constant drive for innovation and design. Unfortunately, in 1987, after he had passed away, Rosselli was awarded with his second Compasso d’Oro for his post-modern design. These designs where done between the 1950’s to the late 1970’s, and involved everyday items, such as furniture pieces, electrical appliances, and clocks. He lived to become the key figure of the Italian design industry of the twentieth century.



Photo credit to ARCHAIC Magazine