Gian Franco Legler

Born in 1922 in Ponte-San-Pietro (near Bergamo), Gian Franco Legler, a Swiss citizen, dreamed of becoming an “Industrial Designer”. At that time there was no such profession in Switzerland, so in 1943 he studied architecture, mechanical engineering, toolmaking and chemistry at the ETH Zurich and then “Plastics and Fiber Technology” at MIT in Boston in 1951.
In 1953 he moved to Chicago, then the mecca of Industrial Design, where he worked in the officeof Jean Otis Reinecke before establishing himself as a freelancer in the design industry.
He returned to Switzerland in 1963, where he opened his own design, architecture and furniturestudio in Zurich. In addition to producing his own creations, he ran a wholesale business, importingItalian furniture from en vogue manufacturers such as Zanotta. Legler's creations were almost always custom-made to order for clients whose unique needs were not available on the market.
He was constantly on the lookout for new materials and fresh ideas. His products include the Oasis armchair (manufactured by Zanotta) and a dozen creations of stylish objects at the time; one of them received the Good Design Award from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Photo: private collection

Gian Franco Legler 1971 43(0)