A Leo born on 16 August 1931, Alessandro Mendini has twice been editor of Domus, the most eclectic and sardonic of those who have taken the helm at Domus. He instilled a sense of being in it together and gave the editorial staff total freedom, albeit based on clearly defined ground rules and steered by a poetic and democratic boss – this is the mark he left after his two stints at Domus. A frequent presence in the office, always with pencil in hand, supremely efficient, informal, friendly and with a probing but light touch… He was also extremely kind, turning up with proverbial boxes of delicacies from the celebrated Galli confectioner’s in Milan both during and after his tenure. His smile and acumen have never altered over the years and the last issue of his second editorship – containing a mini-Domus insert by guest editor and fellow provocateur Maurizio Cattelan – was a final and precious gift to us all.
Piece of architecture – The Parthenon. Because it is the most important and finest temple and building of all time
Design object – Benvenuto Cellini’s Salt Cellar. Because it is the first signature design and exquisitely beautiful.
Work of art – The Mona Lisa. Because it is the most profound and enigmatic portrait in the history of mankind.
Book – Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time). Because I based my visual work method on this novel and persona.
City – Milan. Because it satisfies my mental needs.
Domus : 1979–1986
Associate editor : Lisa Licitra Ponti
Graphics : Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Alchimia
Special correspondent : Pierre Restany
Domus : 2010–2011
Subtitle : The new utopia
Art direction : Giuseppe Basile
Deputy editor : Stefano Casciani
Covers : illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti