Mario Milana is a designer based in New York that creates furniture pieces that can be adjusted on the desire of their user.
Though functional, all of Milana’s works share a sense of whimsy. Their various parts designed with dynamism in mind—they are able to change form depending on their user, or their user’s desired use. Drawing from a background in traditional craftsmanship, Milana marries a mechanical approach to artisanal tradition in the creation of his pieces.
Mario Milana was born in Milan, Italy in 1981. He graduated from the Istituto Europeo del Design of Milan in 2003 with a degree in Industrial Design. His first job was in the Milanese studio of Denis Santachiara. In 2005 he moved to New York, where he worked for Karim Rashid for 8 years. As a senior designer in Rashid’s studio, Mario had the opportunity to relate to a wide range of materials and methods on every scale; working with clients such as Alessi, Artemide, Corian, Gufram, Meritalia, Riva1920, Samsung, Slide, Tonelli, and Zanotta.
In 2014 Mario set up his own studio based in New York and Milan. In the pieces he produces in collaboration with artisans, he plays in the crossover between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design, merging the worlds of the artisan and technology. His work is meant to show the hand of the maker, with a keen eye towards functionality and dynamism. Many of the chairs and tables actually rotate and orbit, not only in shape but in movement, allowing the object to adapt to the needs and comfort of the user.
Mario has presented his work during the Salone del Mobile in Milan as part of the Ladies and Gentlemen Show at 5Vie, in New York at Sight Unseen Offsite, and in London at LAMB Arts. In 2016, he was selected by Vogue Italia and Franca Sozzani to design a window of La Rinascente in collaboration with Slowear. In 2017 he designed the “Can-Can Table” for Tonelli which was shown at the Salone del Mobile as part of their 30th-year anniversary celebration. His designs have been featured by Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Living Corriere, Interni, Vogue, and W Magazine, among others. He is currently represented by the design gallery Les Ateliers Courbet in New York and Miami, and Spotti in Milan.