Ever since the start of his career, the work of Giovanni (Gio) Ponti (1891-1979) was deeply innovative, going beyond the return to neoclassicism characteristic of early 20th century architecture. Ponti made the architect a promoter of culture and an interpreter of the new “bourgeois taste”. Ponti founded and edited the historic architecture magazines ‘Domus’ and ‘Stile’; he sat on the executive committee of the Triennale di Milano and the Biennale di Monza; he taught for many years (1936-1961) at Politecnico di Milano, where he himself had graduated in 1921.
Not a member of any modernist ideological movement, with nothing to do with movements and fashions, Ponti saw architecture as the place where multiple aspects of the creative act come together. In the same way, “style” is a recurrent, recognisable element present in the community in a given society at a given time.
He himself didn’t start out constructing buildings, but creating furnitures and objects, and particularly decorating: Ponti approached architecture gradually, focusing in particular on issues pertaining to “the home”, searching for a meeting-point between expressiveness and uniformity.