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Born in Como in 1947, Carlo Forcolini graduated with a diploma in Fine Art at the Brera Accademy in Milan.

Since 1969 he has worked as a designer and entrepreneur, taking part in the foundation of Alias, Nemo, Oylight where he has also been  Managing Director and Art Director.
From 1978 to 1984, Forcolini lived in London, where he set up Alias U.K. and became Director of Artemide GB.
Since 1983, he has taken part in numerous international exhibitions and events in Madrid, Los Angeles, London, Hamburg, Cologne, Tokyo, Sidney, Santiago del Chile, Oslo etc.. Among them:
I modi del progetto (Design methods) at the Pignatelli Cortes Museum, Naples 1987;
Design Alias from Italy, in the Soviet Cultural Foundation, Moscow 1989, and Creativitalia, Tokyo  1990. He has had personals at the Permanente in Milan in 1991 (Imagining Things), in Innsbruck in 1996 and in Toronto and Brussels in 1997.
Forcolini has conducted seminars in various schools and universities, including the prestigious Graham Foundation in Chicago. His designs number among the collections in the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, the Collection of Italian design at the Milan Triennale and the historical Collection of Compasso d’Oro Award.
He has designed furnishings, lamps and objects for Amar, Artemide, Alias, BBB Bonacina, Cassina, De Padova, Futura, Gervasoni, Joint, Luceplan, Lucital Nemo,  Pomellato and Zumtobel. For Pomellato he also designed shops in Barcelona, Madrid, Antwerp, Taipei, Lisbon, Montecarlo, Singapore, Marbella, Cannes and Moscow.
Since 1999, he has been co-ordinating the Forcolini.Lab, a creative workshop operating in the various different fields of design and visual communications. His more recent works include graphic and exhibition designs for the Triennale di Milano.
From December 2001 to March 2008 he has been President of ADI the historical Italian Design Association.
Since December 2009 his a CEO of IED Spa, Istituto Europeo di Design. One of the most important private institution in Europe teaching Design, Fashion, Communication and Visual Art.
Since January 2012  is Vice Chairman of IED. He lives and works in Milan.

He has designed about 100 objects including lamps, furniture, watches, etc. His work has many references to art, literature and cinema. His inspiration has strongly characterized the language of form, but has never prevailed on the attention of construction, structural and functional objects designed by him.