Osvaldo Borsani

Born Varedo, Switzerland in 1911, Osvaldo Borsani was an Italian architect and designer who was active in Milan. His father, Gaetano Borsani, was a noted furniture craftsman and his twin brother Fulgencio would be his collaborator and business partner. In 1933, while still a student, he presented his “Casa Minima” project in the fifth Milan Triennale. After graduation, Osvaldo joined the family business, Atelier Varedo (later Arredamento Borsani) as a furniture designer with a large body of work.

In 1953, Osvaldo and Fulgencio founded a firm called Tecno which, as its name suggests, became known for its technology- and research-based approach to furniture design. Osvaldo, his daughter Valeria and his son in law Marco Fantoni acted as the company’s sole designers for over 30 years; it was not until the mid 1980s that Gae Aulenti, Norman Foster and others began to contribute designs.

Today, Tecno is known for its innovative furniture for offices and public buildings. Architect-designer Osvaldo Borsani himself is remembered today as a master of modernism.

“Osvaldo was called ‘the American’ because his ideas were agreed to be the most innovative of the day.”

-Tommaso Fantoni-