Franco Albini (17 October 1905 – 1 November 1977) was an Italian Neo-Rationalist architect, designer and university instructor in design.
A native of Robbiate, near Milan, Albini obtained his degree in architecture at Politecnico di Milano University in 1929 and began his professional career working for Gio Ponti. He started displaying his works at Milan Triennale. In 1930 he opened his own practice.
Through his creations, the modern furniture design merged the Italian traditional artisanship with the new forms of modernism. In his creations, he used raw, inexpensive materials. He exploited the very skilled Italian craftsmanship. This also meant an elegant design based on a minimalist aesthetic.
One of the first, successful works in 1939 is a radio, encased in glass, so to show its internal components.
In 1928 Albini designed the now-iconic"Albini Desk", combining steel, glass and wood with a striking minimalistic balance, and introduced by Knoll in 1949. In 1950 he designed the famous and fashionable "Margherita" and "Gala" chairs, made of woven cane. In 1952 he created the "Fiorenza" armchair for Arflex; in 1955 the "Luisa" chair; in 1956 the "Rocking chaise" for Poggi.
In the 1960s he worked on industrial design as well as important architectural projects. In 1961 he designed the Rome Rinascente building.