Rodolfo Dordoni became a prominent architect and designer from the legendary stable of the “Milan Elite” which include Antonio Citterio, Castiglioni, and Marco Zanuso.
Originally pursuing architecture and industrial design upon graduating from the Politecnico University in 1979, Dordoni has since discovered a broad spectrum covering architecture, art direction, interior design and product design. In whichever form, Dordoni's design is famed for its formal stringency, elegance, essentiality, and innovative details. His personal signature is unmistakable.
He creates lamps and furniture, storage systems, kitchens, bathroom accessories, objects, carpets and electrical switches, collaborating with Italian and overseas firms that include
Arteluce, Bros, DeSede, Flos, Foscarini, Moroso, and Vistosi. As art director, he has coordinated the company images for Cappellini and Mondo Foscarini, Bros, Imel, Schopenhauer and Minotti. Perhaps, most famously, he is responsible for the interior design and styling of shops, corners, showrooms and residential spaces for Dolce & Gabbana.
A true product of his Milanese roots, Dordoni has a deep and traditional approach to his design methods, which has resulted in many famous Italian designs carrying his signature.
“My approach to the process of design and production is broad and includes the development of image strategies, product concepts, design and the development of product marketing” explains Dordoni.
This is evident in an array of pieces designed for Cappellini for whom he worked with throughout the 1980’s. The vast collection of chairs, tables, shelving systems, lounge arrangements, office furniture and even textiles such as carpets, rugs and bed throws are still considered ‘modern’ today, and is testament to the forward vision of Dordoni during the initial years of his career.
For example, the Cuba fixed sofa series is comprised of a grand collection of two-seat by two-seat wide and three-seat by three-seat wide sofas and sofa beds, designed with elegance and comfort in mind.
Similarly, the Lipsia Chair is considered one of his biggest achievements and the Colombia is a series of elegant storage units with classic styling.
His approach to industrial design embraces not only the project, but also image strategy and marketing. This makes for simplicity with slight ‘surprises’ within Dordoni’s traditional designs.
An exceptional example of this is evident in the design of the Boboli tables. Rigorously geometrical and imaginative in their structure, the table-tops are clean-cut and uncluttered, in glass, marble or wood, but the support feature represents a metal cage with festoons of aluminum that are folded with a slight twist on the vertical axis.
One of his most revered pieces of
earlier years is the Lumiere table light, manufactured by Foscarini, which displays his simplistic beautiful style and gives off a radiant glow. A remarkably simple and understated lamp that even when colored on the outside, gives a beautiful white light due to the glass shade being 'white lined'.
For Dordoni, product development starts with the basic idea, with the "search for the message that the objects should convey", and comprises everything, right through to developing suitable marketing measures.
In addition to a vast array of products for several high profile companies, Dordoni’s work has included taking responsibility for the entire image of such companies, including Mondo, Capellini and Foscarini as well as exhibitions, museums and showroom projects.
This work has heralded from his architectural background, which has an emphasis on structure, proportion and elegant functionality.
In particular, Dordoni has been collaborating with Dolce & Gabbana since 1995, projecting the new headquarters in Milan and
then show rooms and boutiques all over the world. He designed the Milan boutique to offer an open and modern environment that perfectly highlights the clothes and accessories of D&G. The 3,000 square foot store with its white walls and clean sharp lines creates an atmosphere of ultimate modernity, with glass front cabinets and smooth,
bright surfaces that provide the ideal frame for colorful products and accessories.
His architectural prowess has been utilized by Dolce and Gabbana, Panasonic and Beierdorf as well as several residential villas.