The designer Joe Colombo was born in 1930 in Milan and died in 1971 at the age of 41. He studied painting until 1949 at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan and architecture until 1954 at the Polytechnic of Milan.
He joined the ffqd Nucleare (Nuclear Painting movement) in the 1950s, founded by Enrico Baj and Sergio D'Angelo. Throughout the decade, Joe Colombo was active in decorating projects and set designs. After the death of his father in 1959, he had to take the helm of the family business, which he then left in 1961.
In 1960, he collaborated with several brands such as Kartell, Zanotta or Oluce and was rewarded many times with the Compasso d'Oro and the Prime Design International Award.
Among his most famous creations were the sofa Elda (1963) and the lamp KD27 (1967).
His career truly began in 1962 when he opened his own design studio in Milan. With his brother, Gianni Colombo, he created the Spider lamp collection in 1970, produced today by the Italian brand Oluce.
The Joe Colombo style was innovative and futuristic, at times even utopic. He was heavily influenced by the era of the 60s with its pop and hippie movements but also mass consumerism, a television in every home and the counter-culture movement at the end of the 60s.