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In the 1970s Franco Sargiani and Eija Helander designed “Programma 8” for Alessi. This was an organic and complete project of small, modular and compoundable household objects that were based on the same methodological philosophy of the international style of architecture of that period: the theory of metadesign of a system that was open and adapted to the free composition of an infinity of object types. The project, described in 1979 by Mendini as “the most advanced system of household objects ever created at an international level, bar none”, is now continued and completed by adding the functions of conservation and setting the table to the original functions of cooking and serving.
An architect, he was born in Modena in 1940 and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Milan Polytechnic. After an early experience at Studio Morassutti and numerous training periods abroad, in England, Sweden, Finland and Denmark in particular, where he came into contact with some of the most distinguished design and production centres in those countries, he began his autonomous professional activity by opening a Studio in Milan. His interventions range from civil architecture to industrial and interior architecture, from industrial design to corporate image organisation, the latter often in collaboration with Eija Helander. He has taught industrial and visual design at the Scuola Politecnica e di Design, run by Nino Di Salvatore. He has collaborated with numerous other companies, including Alessi, Fantini, Filasp, Fidenza Vetraria, Inda, Emicar, Sipea… His designs have been published in books and specialised magazines, have been selected for the Golden Compass Award and have been presented in numerous museums, including the Beaubourg in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tel Aviv Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, the Museum of Applied Art in Helsinki, the Kunst Museum in Dűsseldorf, the Milan Triennial, etc. His creations can be found in the permanent collections of the Milan Triennial, the Museo de Arte de Sao Paolo in Brazil, the Kunstgewerbemuseum SMPK in Berlin, the Kunstmuseum in Dűsseldorf and in the Deutsches Deushes Klingenmuseum in Solingen in Germany.
Designer, born in Lathi (Finland) in 1944. After her studies, Eija embarked on a long collaboration with Marimekko, first managing its visual merchandising and later entirely coordinating its corporate image throughout Scandinavia. She has participated in developing the settings for advertising shoots and short films, and has collaborated in the capacity of consultant with many interior décor magazines. In 1969 she moved to Italy to work in the field of Industrial Design, creating projects for companies such as Fivep, Inda and Alessi. In particular, with Alessi she worked with architect Franco Sargiani on the company's coordinated image and packaging. She currently runs her own business, covering a comprehensive range of services, from interior design to advertising graphics, setting up stands and creating corporate logos.