Bruno Munari was born in Milan in 1907, he began artistic work at a very early age in the cultural area of Futurism: in 1927 he exhibited for the first time at collective exhibition “33 Futurist Painters” at the Galleria Pesaro in Milan. At the same time he pursued various activities - art-director, publicist, illustrator.
In 1930 he produced the “Air Machine”, from which came the “Useless Machines”, anticipating his interest in the destruction of the traditional work of art. He progressively moved away from the influence of Futurism and more generally from the historic avant-garde which he took as a pretext to develop an extremely personal and singular style.
After the war he began work designing products, lay-outs and above all toys for children, for which he is best know by the general public.
All his work is characterized by a pedagogic finality which is explicit in his passionate interest in the development of childrens creativity through play but is also expressed in research intro the most diverse opportunities for wider and non-élitist communication: he writes for newspapers and weeklies, illustrates and produces many books. In 1962 he coordinated the first large exibition of kinetic art for Olivetti; in this area Munari created numerous works, conceived as single compositions or as the starting point for the production of “multiples” which could be produced in series.
Attracted by the simplicity of material Oriental culture, he travelled widely, particulary in Japan; the influence of Zen and more generally an almost philosophical attention towards the extreme synthetycity of the object is to be found in much of his work as a designer.
More recently he has concentrated more and more on the problem of visual and artistic education, organizing and taking an active part in courses, seminars and “animation” for children, teachers and adults in collaboration with schools and museums.
Numerous exhibitions have been dedicated to his work in galleries and the world’s principal museums of contemporary art. Among the most complete were the personal at the Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione of the University of Parma in 1979, the travelling personal organized by the Museeo Fondacion Soto di Ciudad Bolivar (held in 1984 in seven Venezuelan cities) and the large retrospective which he himself organized, at Palazzo reale in Milan in 1986.