The story

Ever since the studio was established, there has always been a constant desire to design objects and buildings that express the Zietgeist of our time.

The studio is founded on over forty years of activity and research into the meaning of architecture and the contribution it can make to contemporary life and humanity.

It is a long journey that began in the seventies in Florence, when the founder, Michele De Lucchi, graduated in architecture with Adolfo Natalini, becoming a prominent figure in the radical and provocative venture of the Cavart group, which organized events inside Venetian quarries that focussed on ideas surrounding architecture, habitat and society. After moving to Milan, he met Ettore Sottsass who encouraged him to join the Memphis Group, a movement that sought to break with the rigours of rationalism with eccentrically shaped and brightly coloured objects. Wanting to give technology a more human face, Sottsass introduced him into Olivetti and a long and fruitful collaboration was born that led him to become the company’s design director (1988-2002). In the meantime, De Lucchi was also engaged on many other fronts and with AMDL won competitions for the renovation of Deutsche Bank’s offices (1990) and the redevelopment of Deutsche Bundesbahn’s railway stations (1995).
Our practice has been constantly evolving ever since. Together we have created numerous and diverse architectures for public and private clients all over the world: commercial and cultural spaces, residences, hospitality establishments, infrastructures, work environments, product design and graphic design. We have designed lamps and furnishings for the most renowned Italian and European companies including Alessi, Alias, Artemide, Danese, Hermès and Poltrona Frau. We have innovated the workspace with technical and aesthetic inventions, making it fluid and multifunctional. From close dialogue with our clients, we have shaped their corporate identities. We work with large corporations such as Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bundesbahn, Novartis, Alitalia, Poste Italiane, Telecom, Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Zambon. We are actively committed to promoting culture and designing attractive spaces that encourage socialization and a sense of community. We have designed buildings and display systems for museums such as the Triennale Milano, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, the Neues Museum in Berlin and the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan. Also in Milan, we realized the UniCredit Pavilion in piazza Gae Aulenti and the Padiglione Zero, the archectural symbol of the Milano Expo 2015. We work in Georgia to build an international character for the country that fully respects its historical identity: the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi are the first iconic projects that move in this direction.

Our work has always been accompanied by research on the themes of design, technology and craftsmanship. In 1990, Produzione Privata was founded to create objects of experimental design that are realized thanks to the wisdom and expertise of master artisans and are a far cry from the rationale of the market and industry. Since 2004, Michele De Lucchi has been sculpting conceptual models in wood to discover the essential nature of the architectural form and to provide a constant source of inspiration for the CIRCLE’s projects. Since 2018, the CIRCLE’s research has focused on the Earth Stations project, a new type of building that uses humanistic and technological knowledge to promote the positive and productive interconnection between human beings. The philosophy behind the Earth Stations, which has been presented at the most prestigious architectural conferences and in numerous international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale 2021, currently guides the entire design activity of the CIRCLE.

The starting point is Radical Architecture, which has focused attention on the behaviour of the people who actually use objects and architectures.

Combining technology and domesticity: a guideline that runs through our entire story.

The new chapter of our journey is Earth Stations: buildings, spaces and imaginary environments in which the knowledge of architecture is taken to the ultimate technological, aesthetic and functional potential, with the aim of approaching a vision of the future where sustainability, well-being, health and happiness are within the reach of each and every inhabitant of the planet.


Our projects bring together expertise in architecture, design, graphics and art
to create fluid and welcoming environments.