Mario Felice Guido Barbaglia was born in Milan on April 29, 1950. During the high school he began to cultivate various interests, which will lead him to have experiences related to painting, graphics, art history, scenography and progressive pop music ( ).

In 1975 he graduated in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic, where he was a pupil of Paolo Portoghesi. In 1975 he opened an architecture studio in Milan (Studio ABC), together with his friend Marco Colombo. He remained associated with him until 1999, starting a project mainly linked to interior design for private residences, offices and showrooms.

In 1984, Studio ABC began collaborating with PAF. The result of this experience was the PAF STUDIO collection, made up of five innovative products designed by Barbaglia and Colombo, including the DOVE lamp, which had an immediate “universal acclaim” (read more:

The DOVE lamp, which has come to be the second best-selling table lamp in the world, has been exhibited in museums such as the MOMA in New York, the Rufino Tamajo in Mexico City and has entered the collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. and the Cooper Hewitt of New York. He has received prestigious awards (including the SNAI Oscar for interior architecture in Paris) and has had several copies. A lawsuit was filed and won against one of these in the USA.

The TABLA lamp, another object designed by Barbaglia and Colombo, had a great critical success. It won two ROSCOE AWARDS in New York: “best residential lamp” and “object of the year” for 1993.

On the wave of the affirmation of the objects of the PAF STUDIO collection (to which other best sellers had been added in the meantime, such as the LOGO lamp by Barbaglia and Colombo or the JAZZ lamp by Ferdinand Porsche), in 1988 the PAF company was bought by American group Chartwell, and again taken over, a few years later, by an Italian group.

The company name changed to ITALIANA LUCE and the ABC studio was entrusted with the task of designing the new company logo, the art direction of two new catalogs (1992 and 1994) and some advertising pages, and the project of the new exhibition spaces in Italy and abroad.

Until 1995 Barbaglia was involved almost full time in these activities, which he carried out by collaborating with graphic designers and photographers such as Emilio De Maddalena, Aldo Ballo and Francesco Balladore, without neglecting the design of new models for ITALIANA LUCE and for some customers in other sectors. In fact, Barbaglia and Colombo, in addition to dealing with the ergonomic study of some medical and medical-diagnostic devices for the EUROSPITAL company, for the German company INTERPROFIL, worked on the LIBRA: an armchair, able to change, with the simple body movement, into a relaxing bed.

In 1998 the company that had the exclusive products of Barbaglia and Colombo changed hands for the third time: a large part of the PAF STUDIO-PAF-ITALIANA LUCE collection, becoming part of the NEMO catalog, the company that made up the lamps division of the CASSINA group.

For NEMO-CASSINA Studio ABC designed other successful lamps and a new bestseller, the BRIDGE system.

After the closure of the ABC studio, Mario Barbaglia continued his activity as a designer for NEMO-CASSINA, designing lamps such as NORMA (with Steve Blackman), ANITA and others, more specifically intended for contract use, such as ARCTURUS. The exclusive right on the collections bearing the Mario Barbaglia signature was further transferred in 2013, when CASSINA sold NEMO to NEMO Srl. In the meantime, other new Mario Barbaglia models were produced by VALENTI and ANTONANGELI ILLUMINAZIONE.

Since 2012, Barbaglia has once again focused his attention to initiatives in the field of figurative art and music, which it considers strictly connected to architectural design. Currently he is also dedicating himself to supervising the LED version re-editions of some of his “historic” lamps.

2002: self portrait, engraving on industrial copper plate

1975: ”Ritratto”. Private collection

1976: BLOW-UP wallpaper designed with Marco Colombo (Mona Lisa’s  enlarged detail 280×400 cm).

1975: LP cover “Mario Barbaja-New York Bazaar” (Aristonmusic), designed with Marco Colombo.
“New York Bazaar”, an experimental pop music record, had some censorship and poor sales, but the concept of the cover curiously reappears in the 1986 LP “Prince and Revolution-Parade”. 
Note the title “New York Bazaar” which wants to graphically recall that of The New York Times.

1985: The DOVE lamp on The New York Times, in the article by Suzanne Siesin, entitled “The Slender Minimalist Look Stars at Milan Fair”.

1985: the PAF STUDIO catalog, containing the DOVE, DUNA, EDIPO, TESA, TAO and HALLEY lamps designed with Marco Colombo (graphic G&R Associati, Ph. Studio Azzurro, Ph. outdoor .Studio Balladore) 

The DOVE lamp on the cover of the “InternationaL Design Yearbook for 1985-1986”, edited by Philippe Starck (photo of the DOVE by Studio Balladore). 

1987: Mario Barbaglia collects the Oscar awarded by SNAI (Syndacat National des Architectes d’Intérieur) to the DOVE lamp in Paris (Salon International du Luminaire).

1999: Maquette of the DOVE lamp, desgned for a NEMO-CASSINA advertising display.

1994: The ECO lamp (interior design by Mario Barbaglia, Ph.Studio Balladore)

1987: NOVA lamp, screen printing test

1987: With Marco Colombo and Luigi Giroletti, general manager of PAF, present  the NOVA lamp

1994: The NOVA lamp (interior design and the artwork on the wall  by Mario Barbaglia, Ph.Studio Balladore).

Study of the ITALIANA LUCE’s company brand (font and concept) and, below, the 1992 and 1994 catalogs: graphic  Emilio de Maddalena, Ph.Studio Balladore (covers and outdoor) and Ballo&Ballo (studio).

1992: High Point (NC, USA), a corner of the exhibition space designed for

1992: “The future is not touched”, study of the DOVE REVERB promotional campaign.
(The sanguine drawing was made by Emilio de Maddalena).

1992: LIBRA chair, designed  with Marco Colombo for Interprofil GMBH.  Balanced recliner that follows the movement of the body, thanks to an external  mechanical device. Frame in iron and integral polyurethane, leather upholstery.

1994: The SKETCH  lamp (interior design by Mario Barbaglia, Ph.Studio Balladore).

1994: The BRIDGE  lamp in Barbaglia’s studio.

2000 : Study of the NORMA lamp, designed  with  Steve Blackman for NEMO-CASSINA.

2003: Notes for the presentation of the transparent ARCTURUS lamp, at the NEMO-ITALIANA LUCE convention in Florence

2006: the ANITA lamp on the cover of a NEMO-CASSINA catalog

2008: the lamps of “PROGRAMMA D”, design by Mario Barbaglia,  in a VALENTI-PROMETEO LIGHT catalog.

2012: Poster of the MONITORS  exhibition, inaugurated in Milan on 1 June, in which Mario Barbaglia revisits his “Portrait” and other works from the seventies and eighties.
(below: “MONITOR MA4”)

2018: Cover design of the CD “Mario Barbaja-Goodmood (Beat elegy)”, published in fifty signed and numbered copies by Scatola Nera.
Melancholy collection of ballads to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of 1968.

2020: Cover design of the novel “Dieci piccoli ritratti (Invito a cena con delirio)” published by Readingwithlove. A sort of mediumistic reading of ancient art.