Achille Castiglioni was born in 1918 in Milano and studied architecture at the local Polytechnic University. After graduating in 1944, he started working together with his two brothers Livio and Pier. After Livio left, they focused on orders for interior and product design. With their simple and reduced style, they are among those who created the modern design of the post-war era. The Castiglioni brothers became famous in 1957 with the tractor seat Mezzadro. Like the stool Sella, the seat which is the replica of a bicycle seat, Mezzadro demonstrates how familiar objects can be used in a new and stunning way.
For the Italian company Flos, the brothers developed extraordinary light objects, which now have the rank of absolute classics of design, such as Arco, Toio, Taraxacum and Taccia, to name just a few. The arched lamp Arco by Achille Castiglioni allies a perfect metallic arch with a refined marble block, which serves as a base and is a distinctive feature of Arco. The light Taraxacum (the scientific name for the dandelion) designed in 1988 enjoys a constant popularity. The famous seats by the Castiglioni brothers are manufactured by Zanotta. Also tables and other pieces of furniture by the Castiglioni brothers are in the portfolio of the Italian brand of furniture.
Pier suddenly died aged 55 in 1968, whereupon Achille started teaching. From 1969 to 1980, he was a professor at the Polytechnic University of Turin and then a university lecturer in Milano. Beside the many prizes he received for his light fixtures and other design projects, he was the nine-time winner of the Compasso d'Oro, the most significant Italian prize in the field of industrial design. Many of his designs are exhibited in the MoMa in New York. In 2001, one year before his death, Achille Castiglioni received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Milano.