Ernesto Gismondi is the founder of Artemide Group.
He was born in Sanremo (IM) on December 25, 1931. In 1957 he gained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the Milan Polytechnic and in 1959 he gained a degree in Missile Engineering at the Professional School of Engineering in Rome.
Since the early ‘60s he has been devoting to the planning and production of lighting equipment, founding Studio Artemide S.a.s., from which the Artemide Group was to develop, together with designer Sergio Mazza. He became established as an international designer, participating, as one of the inventors, in “Memphis”, an avant-garde movement that brought about a profound evolution in the design sector both in Italy and worldwide, and designing various successful appliances for the Group.
Over the years, under his guidance, the Artemide Group saw its market share grow and its international reach increase, making it one of the main players in the design lighting sector, a role that earned him important acknowledgements, including the Compasso d’Oro Award for Career achievements (1994) and the European Design Prize (1997).
From 1964 to 1984 he was associate professor of Rocket Engines for Missiles at the Milan Polytechnic. He was the vice president of ADI - Association of Industrial Design - and held several positions within the Industrial Association of Lombardy (Assolombarda), Federmeccanica, Confindustria, the Autonomous Fair Agency in Milan and at the Ministry for Universities and Research. He is also a member of the Educational and Scientific Committee of I.S.I.A. (Higher Institute for Artistic Industries/Industrial design) in Florence, appointed by the Ministry of Public Education, of the Board of Arbitration of COSMIT (Organising Committee of the Milan Furniture Show), and of CNEL, following a designation by the President's Office of the Republic. He has chaired and participated in several workshops, in Italy and abroad, on design and its developments and on energy saving applied to lighting.
In 2008 he received the Ernst & Young Prize “Entrepeneur of the Year” for Innovation Category, and Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic, appointed him “Cavaliere del Lavoro”, an Italian decoration given to important figures in industry. In 2009 he received the Ernst & Young Prize “Entrepeneur of the Year” for Communication Category.
In 2018 he won the Compasso D'Oro for Lifetime Achievement with the following motivation of the jury: "Aerospace engineer, university lecturer and entrepreneur, in short: man of multifaceted talent. Founder of Artemide, he immediately uses design processes as a distinctive factor and in this long process encourages and enhances collaborations with the world of national and international design. A coherent example of how design can be a concrete strategic lever for cultural and economic growth, it has always worked so that Italian design can be a virtuous example at an international level ".