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Italian designer and engineer Ernesto Gismondi played an important role in progressive design circles. After studying aeronautical and aerospace engineering in Milan and Rome, he founded Artemide in 1959 with Sergio Mazza. He designed a number of Artemide lights himself, including the Tholos wall lamp (1979) and the Zen (1988) and Tebe floor lamps. Gismondi’s involvement with progressive design currents in Italy showed in his sponsorship and presidency of the Memphis design group, as well as his vice-presidency at ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale), membership at the Council for the Milan Triennale, and ministerial commissions on various aspects of design.