Davide Pizzigoni: A Master in Staging Italian Design

Born in Milan in 1955, renowned artist Davide Pizzigoni attended university in Rome and graduated with a honours degree in architecture in 1984.  His first one-man paintings exhibition was presented by Alessandro Mendini in Milan in 1986. Pizzigoni went on to design posters, book covers, serigraphs, litographs and even published a book of drawings on “Arabian Nights” cities in 1990.  An architect by profession, Pizzigoni is known as well for his artistic drive.

In 1994, his talent led him to the role of set and costume designer for “Die Frau Ohne Schatten”, an opera by Richard Strauss presented in Zurich and the following year for Alfred Schnittke’s “Gesualdo”, a world premier that took place in Vienna. Later on the “New National Theatre of  Tokyo” (Japan’s leading Opera House) assigned him the same task for several operas and ballets such as; “L’Heure Espagnole” by Maurice Ravel, “Bolero” (the ballet) and W.A. Mozart’s famous “Così Fan Tutte”.  He also created a series of illustrated books dedicated to operas such as: “Madama Butterfly”, “Rigoletto” and “Carmen”.

Moving the scenes from the theatre to the world of design and fashion, Pizzigoni began to draw in 1996, silk and cashmere collections for Bulgari while keeping painting and collaborating with some prestigious furniture, fabrics and ceramic tiles firms.  His skills as set designer bring a contemporary twist to old traditions like the art of mosaic and ceramics as the Appiani and Bardelli’s high end collections for contemporary living spaces show.

Architect, painter, designer, even women’s footwear acquire a whole new dimension when touched with Pizzigoni’s esthetic sense.  Rita, Greta, Carmen and Sabrina are a collection of shoes created for Bruno Magli one of the leading brand names in the shoemaking industry.  When worn, Pizzigoni’s footwear sketches lead to a magical tale in which femininity reigns supreme.  Even the box, acting as the backdrop, is comparable to an illustrated libretto.

His experience as a stage scenographer led Pizzigoni to investigate “The Shape of the Empty Space”.  This research is based on ethical and philosophical thoughts that took him to explore the physical and existential dimension of the empty space leading him to designing the sets of television programs.

A range of fabulous products and the performing arts, find a home through Pizzigoni’s creativity.


written by Sonia Benedetto