A contemporary of Mario Bellini and Gaetano Pesce, Aldo Ciabatti has a style that’s distinct from either. Pesce is one of the most radical and intellectual of Italian postwar designers; Bellini is one of the most original, if not overtly expressive. Ciabatti is one of the most thoughtful and humanistic, pursuing classical ideas like beauty, harmony and utility in new and individual ways.
Ciabatti was born in Arezzo, a city in the beautiful Tuscan region of Italy, and received his Diploma at the Italian Art Institute in 1957. By the early 1960s, he had begun to focus on Industrial Design, collaborating with a number of different architectural offices. Ciabatti is a designer who understands the complexity of achieving simplicity. He has made it a life’s work to create objects in which there is an essential unity, an inherent harmony of material, shape and color. The diverse range of products he has produced possess what Ciabatti believes to be the four primary elements of successful design: beauty, utility, character and easy industrial realization. In other words, an object must give aesthetic or sensual pleasure, it must be practical, it must convey ideas and integrity and it must be easy to make. In Ciabatti’s design philosophy, to realize these criteria requires not only rational methods of problem solving, but the intuitive abilities of the artist.
Almost every piazza in Italy seems to be furnished with Ciabatti’s simple chairs and benches. Notable among them is the stylish Mouse chair, with its wit, elegance and lively attitude.