The artist attended the Brera High School specialising in art subjects in Milan until 1932, when he was expelled for insubordination. He later enrolled at the Castello Sforzesco Institute of Higher Learning for Arts Applied to Industry, where he studied under Gianfilippo Usellini. In 1933 he displayed various printed silk head scarves at the 5th Milan Triennale, and a bronze stele and a ceramic frieze at the 6th edition, in 1936. As he developed an innovative eclectic style, he created decorative motifs for fabrics, objects and furniture, which made his reputation as a designer when shown at the 1940 Triennale. In 1942 he worked with the architect Gio Ponti on the decoration of Palazzo Bo, the seat of the University of Padua. After World War II, during which he was taken prisoner by the Germans and then exiled in Switzerland, he began to produce porcelain objects and screens. He continued to work in tandem with Gio Ponti, both on the decoration of civic buildings, like the Sanremo Casino (1950), and the design of furniture, such as the trumeau Architettura decorated with architectural designs in perspective – presented at the 9th Milan Triennale in 1951 – and the furnishings for the first class cabins of the transatlantic liner Andrea Doria. At the end of the 1950s he opened his own studio in Milan, as well as the workshop-printshop set up in his home. Always a leading light in Milanese cultural circles, in 1970 he founded the Galleria dei Bibliofili together with a group of friends. In 1980 he opened the London branch, known as Tema e Variazioni (Theme and Variations), named after his famous series of objects decorated with female faces.