Cesare (known as Joe) Colombo was born in Milan in 1930. Essentially self-taught, he attended the Academy in Brera and then the faculty of Architecture at the Politecnico in Milan for a few years. Before becoming a designer he worked as a painter, builder, car salesman (his passion for cars remained with him) and entrepreneur in the electrics field.
The technological utopia of Joe Colombo’s designs encompasses many of the hopes of the Sixties in Italy and Europe without becoming imprisoned by ideological restraints.
Here are a few of the most significant milestones in his extremely rapid escalation to designer of international renown, the symbol of an era.
In 1963 he opened his first studio in Milan.
In 1964 he won 3 medals at the “XIII Triennale” in Milan.
In 1967 he won the Gold Compass.
In 1968 he received his first International Design Award in Chicago.
In 1969 three of his objects were already part of the permanent collection at MOMA.
He died prematurely on 30th July 1971 on his 41st birthday.