Adolfo Natalini (1941 to 2020), © Natalini Architetti

Obituary: Adolfo Natalini, co-founder of the design collective Superstudio, has passed away.

Architect Adolfo Natalini died in Florence at the age of 78. The word most often used to describe his designs was “radical”. Born in 1941 in Pistoia near Florence, Natalini founded the avant-garde design and architecture firm Superstudio in Florence in 1966, together with Piero Frassinelli, Alessandro, Roberto Magris and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. The group became known for their furniture and objects, as well as their architectural projects and theoretical studies on design technology. Through their designs, based on philosophical and anthropological insights, they sought to radically redefine design and architecture – and their works were often referred to as “anti-design” and “anti-architecture”. In 1973 Adolfo Natalini founded the Global Tools workshops, in collaboration with the other members of Superstudio. In 1991 Natalini founded the Florence-based firm Natalini Architetti and became a professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, where Michele de Lucchi and David Palterer were among his assistants for a time. Natalini also took over the artistic direction of the Italian company Up & Up, where he was able to commission the work of designers such as Andrea Branzi, Achille Castiglioni and Matteo. Some of the best-known designs by Natalini and Superstudio include the Quaderna 283 and 260 tables from 1970, with their precision black and white grid motif on a white background. One of Natalini’s last projects was the new Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence.

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