He graduated from the faculty of Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic in 1936. Two years later, he opened a studio with his brother Pier Giacomo and they were joined by their younger brother Achille once he had graduated. They mainly concentrated on urban planning, architecture and, in particular, industrial design which at that time was still in its early stages in Italy.
From 1940 to 1960, Livio Castiglioni was in fact a consultant for Phonola and then for Brionvega.
In 1956, the three brothers co-founded the ADI (Italian Industrial Design Association), which every three years assigns the renowned Compasso d’Oro award for the best Italian contemporary design. From 1959 to 1960, Livio Castiglioni was President of the ADI.
With his son Piero, he designed the famous Scintilla system for FontanaArte, one of the company’s bestsellers and used in a large number of shops and display areas.
He died in 1979.