“Design is about vision and how that vision affects people’s lives” -Antonio Larosa-
Arizona-based Antonio Larosa is an internationally respected designer, consultant, educator.
Born and raised in Italy, Antonio studied architecture and design (graduated with a Doctor in Architecture degree) at the Milan Polytechnic University. At the age of 16 he volunteered to help build homes for victims of a terrible earthquake near Naples, Italy. It was this experience that confirmed Antonio’s decision to study architecture. He attended many university classes/lectures with the most important Italian design masters of the 20th Century, such as Achille Castiglioni, Aldo Rossi, Marco Zanuso, Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi, Enzo Mari, Alessandro Mendini.
Antonio also studied Urbanism at the University of Calabria and Archaeology at the University of Milan. Shortly after graduation and a very invaluable work experience at the renowned studio Sawaya & Moroni, Antonio moved to the United States and worked as a design consultant for several companies before starting Larosa Design. For the past 20 years he has worked on a wide range of projects from architecture and interiors, furniture and product design, graphic design, branding/marketing and sourcing.
In the early 90’s Antonio arrives in the US to be the creative soul of a brand new showroom in New York called DDC (Domus Design Collection). Under Antonio’s visionary guidance, DDC pioneered a series of revolutionary ideas to bring high-end Italian design to America. Antonio designed the three story showroom, the logo, and printed ads. He also designed interiors and custom furniture for DDC clients.
Mr. Larosa has been a consultant for several major American and Italian manufacturers, showrooms, importers, design firms, and design publications. The list of his past and present clients includes David Edward, Merchandise Mart, Poltrona Frau, Studio Ambrosetti, Natuzzi, , Pepe Jeans London, Benchmark Contract Furniture, Gerber products division, Metropolis magazine, Sixinch, Fiera Milano, Michieli, Verona Fiere, Elite Manufacturing, Italian Ministry for Economic Development, The Phillips Collection, Abitare il Tempo, InterDesign, Vinitaly. He has designed collections of furniture and accessories for the residential and commercial markets that are manufactured in both the United States and Europe and sold worldwide. During the mid-1990’s, Antonio was Project Manager for the Italian Trade Commission, an Italian government trade agency, where he was responsible for the development, promotion and branding of Italian furniture and lighting in the United States.
After relocating to Arizona, Mr. Larosa was hired as a faculty member at Arizona State University where he taught furniture design and interior design courses. Antonio has also taught university level design courses in Italy. In 2006, Antonio Larosa was selected to be included in PHOENIX: 21st Century City, an international book series by UK based publisher Booth-Clibbon that honored the finest artists, designers, and architects in new emerging cities, which included Phoenix, Berlin, and Moscow.
In 2008 -as logical progression in his prolific career- Antonio decided to invest in new design talents by accepting a challenging position at SCAD. Mr. Larosa was hired to teach and to be Department Chair with the directive to save the Furniture Design and the Exhibition Design programs from closing. Two year after his arrival, Mr. Larosa was able to make the Programs the largest and most respected in the US. He also started real world learning opportunities for students, and was instrumental in transforming the existing school building into a safe and healthy educational facility.
As professor and chairman from 2008 until 2011, Mr. Larosa revolutionized the study of furniture design by breaking down the traditional barriers between practice and teaching, enriching the curriculum (more design thinking) and connecting the students to the real world of design. Antonio always started a new class telling the students “a trendless design never gets old” (a reminder to always be themselves instead of following trends).
Working independently and with various corporate sponsors and government organizations, Antonio has organized and coordinated some of the most successful trade shows and design exhibits in the US. He is still active in the trade show business and provides consultancy services for several major furniture shows.
He frequent serves as a judge for design competitions and as a guest lecturer on a broad range of design topics. As a design visionary, Antonio has been the creator and driving force behind many unique design events in the US, including the Furniture Revolution Gallery at NeoCon in Chicago, and the Furniture Design Summit, which was the first conference in the US dedicated to furniture design that united manufacturers, designers, and students.