Giovanni "Gio" Ponti (1891–1979) was an Italian architect, industrial and furniture designer and publisher, and one the most influential names of modern design. After receiving his architect’s diploma from Politecnico di Milano University in 1921, Ponti created a versatile career that seamlessly combined architecture and design — in addition to the building and its interior, he often designed the furniture, lighting and even tableware to fit together. In Milan, there are about 40 buildings that Ponti has designed.
In 1928 Ponti founded the architecture and design magazine Domus that is still being published today, and in the years 1931–1961 he worked as a professor of architecture in Politecnico di Milano. Some of his best known designs include the lightweight Superleggera chair and an elegant collection of mirrors, and in architecture he is famous for buildings such as Milan’s Pirelli tower and the Denver Art Museum.
During his career Ponti obtained many notable recognitions such as the Accademia d'Italia Art Prize, a title of Commander by the Swedish Royal Order of Vasa, an honorary doctorate from the London Royal College of Art and a gold medal from the Paris Académie d'Architecture. His design philosophy was guided by the Italian mentality of ”la dolce vita”: besides just practical functionality, he wanted to fill life with joy, colours and pleasure.