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 (https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Barbaja ).
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: https://bit.ly/3qmnmSP).
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.