Kartell was founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli, a chemical engineer who graduated gaining the "Nobel Natta award", and started business by producing plastic articles: first of all car accessories, later turning to household goods, laboratory articles and lamps. The articles produced comply with two challenges pursued by the Company: "to introduce plastic to the home" and to replace glass with plastics in the case of laboratory equipment. Kartell consolidated its identity in the '60s, parallel to the international success of the made in Italy design, by continuing to explore the versatility of plastics and to redefine the shapes and functions of its own articles. Kartell supported the Labware division in the '80s with the slogan: "Plastic like science". The Labware division represented more than one third of the productive activity during those years, and Kartell also carried out an in-depth analysis of the soft aspects of the Habitat production, while continuing to measure itself with the technological progress.
Kartell enhanced its collection in the '90s thanks to the contribution made by the various designers of international origin, with which the Company started to co-operate. Kartell identified new expressive capacities by focusing on the versatility of plastics, heightened by the ever-increasing bold technological challenges, proposing an "ad hoc" finish for each product. In this way, articles were produced that met new needs and seduced by the appeal of their design. Created by a team of designers of international fame: Ron Arad, Anna Castelli ferrieri, Antonio Citterio, Michele De Lucchi, Patrick Jouin, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Vico Magistretti, Alberto Meda, Enzo Mari, Paolo Rizzatto, Maarten Van Severen, Philippe Starck and Patricia Urquiola, Tokujin Yoshioka. A relationship that together with Kartell has built up a privileged channel through the continous exchange of ideas about projects and that has succeeded in developing at best the Company's potential. Kartell's products have gained prestigious international awards during the 59 years in business, including 9 'Compasso d'Oro'.
The past, present and future intersect to describe the value of a trademark that represents the project, design and innovation.