The image of Kartell and its History tells him through its products. Observing the Kartell' objects we can understand which has been the development, what the strategies of the firm, what his attention toward the technology, the project, the design. The products Kartells express the language and the atmosphere of the period in which they were born but at the same time they are "contemporary objects", they bring with themselves many other values and messages and it is for this that they have become parts integral of our domestic landscape.
Kartell, founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli, chemical engineer who graduated gaining the "Nobel Natta prize", and started the activity realizing objects in plastics: at first car accessories, later household goods, articles for laboratory and lamps.
The articles produced comply with two chanlleges pursued by the Company: "to introduce plastic to the home" and to replace glass with plastic in the case of laboratory equipment.
Kartell adopted an entirely innovative approach from the very beginning to engineer its articles based on technological research and on design.
Kartell consolidated its identity in the '60s, parallel to the international success of the made in Italy design, by continuing to explore the versatility of plastic and to redefine the shapes and functions of its own articles.
The entrance in the furnishing field gained the Company international awards and a vast reputation abroad, which suggested starting to extend the Company's presence on the European markets.
Kartell was invited by the Modern Art Museum of new York, in 1972, to take part in the "Italy: the new Domestic Landscape" exhibition, with the production of three prototypes of cutting edge living solutions designed by Gae Aulenti, Ettore Sottsass, and Marco Zanuso, and with many production pieces that are included in the Museum's permanent collection.
Kartell supported the Labware division in the '80s with the slogan: "Plastic like science". The labware division represented more than one third of the prooductive activity during those years, and Kartell also carried out an in-depth analysis of the soft aspects of the Habitat production, while continuing to mesure itself with tecnological progress.
Claudio Luti took over as the Company's owner and Chairman in 1988.
Kartell enhanced its collection in the '90s thanks to the contribution made by the various designer of international origin, with which the Company started to co-operate.
Kartell identified new expressive capacities by focusing on the versatility of plastics, heightened by the ever-increasing bold technological challenges, proposing an "ad hoc" finish for each product. In this way articles were produced that met new needs and seduced by the appeal of their design.
The broader production range required a new commercial and distribution strategy. Points of sale were established throughout the world (Flagship, Shop and point) dedicated solely to the Kartell product and characterised by an image that is strong and in harmony with the Company's image.
Finally, the Kartell Museum was founded in 1999. The initiative restores to the general public a tangible record of Kartell's history and is a statement of the Company's vocation for research.