The consummate Italian designer, Ponti (1891-1979) was an architect, furniture and product designer and the founder and first editor of Domus magazine. Ponti’s version of modernism was informed by traditional designs, by the Italian classical and Novecento tradition but also by a more fluid, organic use of form in everyday objects. His Superleggera chair, almost ethereally light and incredibly elegant, displays this blend of influences, from the Italian kitchen to avant-garde Modernism.
His exquisitely slender Pirelli Tower in Milan (1956) offered an alternative to the blocky functionalism of the German and US architects who dominated post war design and it was also for this building that he developed the slender lever which inspired the handle manufactured by izé. Its simple, sensuous profile, which neatly expresses the functions and constituent components of the lever, succinctly embodies his refined aesthetic.