Cleto Munari

Product/Industrial Designer / Italy / Cleto Munari Design Associati

Born in Gorizia, Italy, Cleto Munari describes himself as a globetrotter, collector, and inventor. He met the prominent Italian architect Carlo Scarpa in the 1970s and, with him, started producing objects in precious metal.

In 1985 he set up a workshop-studio for the manufacture of unique objects in collaboration with some of the greatest architects, designers, artists, and writers in the world, among them Mario Botta, Alessandro Mendini, Alvaro Siza Vieira, Mimmo Paladino, Sandro Chia, and Dario Fo.

Munari has devoted a major part of his enterprise to producing glassware in Murano, assisted by some of the master glassblowers of the Venetian Lagoon region. His creations can be found in the permanent collections of major museums across five continents, including, in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art.

Among his most famous design collections is the Five Pens series—each pen is dedicated to a different Nobel Prize-winning writer (Naguib Mahfouz, José Saramago, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, and Wole Soyinka) and designed by a different renowned architect or designer (Toyo Ito, Oscar Tusquets Blanca, Alessandro Mendini, Alvaro Siza Vieira, and Cleto Munari himself). The writings that inspired the pens have been collected into book form.

Munari has also produced a unique collection of Murano glasses consisting of 75 different pieces, each designed by a famous designer or architect), as well as watches (designed by Michael Graves, Aarta Isozaki, Ettore Sottsass, and Hans Hollein) and jewelry (designed by Sottsass, Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, Mimmo Paladino, and other artists).

Recently, he planned and produced a new collection of carpets, tables, and other furniture in collaboration with artists and writers, including Sandro Chia, Mimmo Paladino, Dario Fo, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Mark Strand. In addition, along with ten artists and designers, Munari created the Après Veronese Collection of glass vases, reinterpreting the classic vase painted by the Venetian artist Veronese in the 16th century.

Cleto Munari lives and works in Vicenza, Italy.

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