Last year Google Italy celebrated the birthday of Italian architect and designer Anna Castelli Ferrieri by dedicating a homepage doodle to her work. Selecting Ferrieri, who joins renowned creatives including Mozart and Saul Bass, immediately highlighted the important role she has played in the history of Italian design. The Componibili, or modular in english, is her most famous design. A clever system of stackable cylindrical 'drawers', created by Ferrieri who co-founded Kartell with her husband Giulio Castelli in 1949, has been in continuous production by Kartell since 1969 and is part of the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. Ferrieri's interest in the possibilities and beauty of plastic, up until then only seen as an industrial material, took Kartell from labware group to one of the world's most important furniture brands today, and in the process changed our view on plastic forever.
Ferrieri comes from a generation of Italian designers who transformed the industry with new technologies and materials and lead the way for Italian modernity throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. She took part in the groundbreaking exhibition 'Italy: The New Domestic Landscape' at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972, and ran her own architecture practice in Milan, balancing this with her role at Kartell and her editorship of the architecture magazine Casabella Costruzioni.
Always working on new processes for recycling plastic waste and developing new forms of even more durable materials, Ferrieri designed production systems to support less resource heavy plastics too. This research spanned her career of more than 50 years and has laid the foundations for the ongoing work of Kartell's R&D team. The Componibili remains one of Kartell’s all time best sellers.