Few people have been as instrumental in promoting avant-garde Italian design as Alessandro Mendini. The architect, designer, journalist, poet, and educator is best known for his holistic postmodern approach, freely combining elements from various cultures and time periods, while mixing the highbrow with kitsch. His acclaimed projects include the multicolored masterpiece that is the Groninger Museum and his iconic Proust chair, a 20th-century update to a Neo-Baroque French armchair, which he covered in a hand-painted fabric of Pointillist dots inspired by a painting by Paul Signac. (In 2014, he recreated the chair in marble). In 1979, Mendini teamed up with his fellow maestri Ettore Sottsass and Michele De Lucchi to create Studio Alchimia; three years later, he co-founded the influential Domus Academy.