Danese is a design company founded in Milan in 1957 by Bruno Danese and Jacqueline Vodoz. It all began in a particularly dazzling period for Italian design – the second half of the 1950s – and in relation to the DNA of its founders, the company looked to an idea of design that included the languages of photography, graphics, the visual arts, and of the producer as editor, a maker of editions capable of reasoning in complex terms on the relationship between industry, crafts and market. The Danese phenomenon took form in the early years as an enterprise destined to design objects, art editions, installations and innovative situations hovering between the home, the office and the school. The designers involved in this intellectual adventure became not so much collaborators as accomplices, and through a process of research and intense dialogue between producers, design and artisan they developed aesthetic and playful objects suitable for serial production, for adults and children – in fact, the intuition of recovering the dimension of play as a cognitive tool. Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari were the main counterparts, alongside the research on ceramics of Franco Meneguzzo (in 1957 Danese absorbed DEM, Daniele Meneguzzo, the ceramics company, acquiring its workshop), who also designed the company logo. These were joined by figures like Angelo Mangiarotti, Achille Castiglioni, Kuno Prey and Marco Ferreri.
In 1992, 35 years after its foundation, Bruno Danese decided that his adventure could come to a halt and handed his organization over to the multinational corporation Strafor-Facom.
Later on, in 1999, the brand was acquired by Carlotta de Bevilacqua and reintroduced the idea of a testing lab that used to be the basis of its DNA, interpreting it very openly, and widening both formal and materic experimentation in the field of technology, especially connected to the field of lighting. From the idea of a horizontal approach to the categories of art/craftsmanship/industry, Danese started dealing with an increasingly wider number of product categories, expanding from the concept of limited editions that was one of the key features of its past.
People and our planet were thought to be placed at the centre of the project to create a total and environmentally-sound quality of space where people live and work.
To provide an all encompassing perspective, light became a paramount feature within this landscape. Opening up to different cultures and ideas means gathering around Danese several internationally acclaimed designers as well as heterogeneous projects, yet all connected with common values: sustainability, durability and close relationship with people and their needs as well as freedom of interacting with objects and space.
In 2014, Danese became part of the Artemide group and gradually most of its lighting research have found its natural home under Artemide roof.
In 2017, Carlotta de Bevilacqua appointed Ron Gilad as the creative director of Danese to retrace the path treaded by the company origins – from a different perspective – for a future consistent with the corporate values that gave life to these past 60 years of brand history. Gilad’s journey begins by making Danese collection lighter to fully and freely test the creation of an evolving identity.