Vico Magistretti was born in Milan in 1920. He graduated from the Polytechnico in Milan in 1945. In the wake of the devastation of World War II, the young architect was inspired by modernist ideals. He sought to create a new kind of design which was simple, functional, rational, elegant -- and anonymous. He wanted to produce "anonymous traditional objects" which seemed to have evolved organically rather than to have been designed. This attitude was evident already in the first pieces he exhibited in the late forties, including bookshelves suspended from metal tubes, a bookcase which resembled a ladder, and stackable tables. Magistretti has influenced generations of designers with his emphasis on what he calls "concept design." Concept design, he says, "starts from a precise executive and functional concept and is so simple that it endows the object with its distinctive character." This type of design is so simple that it can be described without a drawing. He rejects the opposite way of working, which he calls "styling design" and which means useless or redundant decoration. In the course of his long and productive career, Vico Magistretti has won innumerable awards and honors, including three Compasso d'Oro awards. His work is in museums worldwide. In his Milano studio, he continued to create designs whose simplicity and freshness express the essence of his spirit until he passed away in October 2006.