Founder of the Artemide group, Ernesto Gismondi died on December 31, at the age of 89. If he knew how to surround himself with major designers – starting with his wife Carlotta de Belavicqua – such as Gio Ponti, Gae Aulenti, Ettore Sottsass, Michele de Lucchi, he will remain the symbol of a researcher who has perfectly combined entrepreneurship with innovation, from the beginnings of dimmable lighting to the recent sanitizing light solution.
Before embarking on design, Ernesto Gismmoni started with a double engineering training: he graduated in 1957 in aeronautics at the Polytechnic of Milan and then obtained a diploma in missile engineering two years later in Rome. However, from the beginning of the 60s, he devoted himself to the planning and production of lighting equipment, founding with designer Sergio Mazza Studio Artemide, from which the group would develop. Very involved in the avant-garde movement “Memphis”, Ernesto Gismondi has also established himself internationally.
Over the years, under his leadership, the Artemide group has seen its global reach increase and become one of the main players in the design lighting sector. ).
Un entrepreneur à la pointe
From 1964 to 1984, Ernesto Gismondi was associate professor of rocket motors for missiles at the Polytechnic of Milan. He was vice-president of ADI – Association of Industrial Design – and has held several positions within the Industrial Association of Lombardy, Federmeccanica, Confindustria, the Autonomous Agency of Fairs of Milan and the Ministry of Universities and research. He is also a member of the ISIA Educational and Scientific Committee. (Higher Institute of Artistic Industries / Industrial Design) in Florence, the Arbitration Council of COSMIT (Organizing Committee of the Milan Furniture Fair), and CNEL. He chaired and participated in several workshops, in Italy and abroad, on design and its developments and on energy savings applied to lighting.
Parmi les dernières innovations du groupe, la solution Integralis est une typologie d’éclairage innovante, interactive, qui désinfecte les espaces (contre les virus, bactéries, champignons, moisissures et autres agents pathogènes mortels), grâce notamment à une méthode de stérilisation qui utilise le rayonnement ultraviolet (l’irradiation germicide ultraviolette (UVGI), tout en respectant des longueurs d'ondes en adéquation avec la préservation de la santé des individus.
Une carrière honorée
Ernesto Gismondi’s career has been marked by numerous awards, notably the European Design Prize (1997).
In 2008 he received the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in the Innovation category, and Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic, named him “Cavaliere del Lavoro”. In 2009, he received the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the Communication category.
In 2018 he won the Compasso D’Oro for Lifetime Achievement with the following jury mention: “Iaerospace engineer, university professor and entrepreneur, in short: a man of many talents. Founder of Artemide, he immediately uses design processes as a distinguishing factor and, in this long process, he encourages and strengthens collaborations with the world of national and international design. A coherent example of how design can be a concrete strategic lever for cultural and economic growth, it has always worked so that Italian design can be a virtuous example at the international level. “
Rewarded by the Compasso d’oro 2018, the Discovery collection by Artemide (designed by Ernesto Gismondi) is now available in circular, horizontal and vertical versions, but also, more recent, rectangular and square. the principle of construction remains the same as in previous versions. An ultra-light aluminum profile serves as a support for an LED strip that projects light onto a transparent PMMA surface with a pattern of distributed micro-cutouts to achieve maximum efficiency and uniformity. Discovery can be adjusted with the Artemide app, and compatible with sanitizing lighting technology Integralis .