Mother of Invention

Franco Albini's 'Luisona' Chair

A recently discovered drawing of the 'Luisona.' Image courtesy of the Fondazione Franco Albini and Casati Gallery.


One of a kind, the Luisona chair was custom-designed by Franco Albini for his mother. Though wider and deeper than Albini's celebrated Luisa chair, the Luisona shares much with its award-winning successor in both appearance and construction, and radiates the same simple elegance. Albini spent nearly two decades refining the Luisa, and, when it was finally launched in 1955, it received the prestigious ADI [Italy’s Association for Industrial Design] Compasso D’Oro. 

Visions of Italian Design

For more than 20 years Ugo Alfano Casati has been bringing fresh and interesting modern and contemporary Italian design to market. From rare and custom works by Italy’s most notable architects to classic forms and more recent limited edition works from the most radical and forward thinking minds, Casati’s vision of Italian Design is one of quality, beauty and historical significance. 

An Italian himself, Casati grew up in Milan. He worked for Alessi and Bodum in Paris before relocating to Chicago where he opened Casati Gallery to bring Italian design to the American market. He focused on Italian designs of the post-war era to present day, developing relationships with artists, designers, foundations and archives, adding valuable context and introducing new scholarship in the field alongside his elegant offerings. 

In 2007, Casati and Wright teamed together to create a book dedicated to the designs of Angelo Mangiarotti. The award-winning publication, featured full-color images and was published in English and Italian introducing the innovative designer to the broader market. 

Casati’s interest in fine craftsmanship and originality soon grew to include emerging design and he began to produce editions by makers whose aesthetics complimented his Italian sensibility: Jonathan Nesci, Philippe Nigro, among others. 

This special curated auction celebrates Casati Gallery and marks the beginning of Casati Projects, a new phase for Ugo Alfano Casati who endeavors to bring renewed energy and experience to the field of Italian design through curatorial and consulting services for discerning collectors and institutions across the globe.