Ernesto Gismondi (1931-2020) was an Italian entrepreneur, founder of Artemide and great protagonist of many of the technological and stylistic innovations that accompanied the growth of Italian design. By training he was an aeronautical engineer specialized in missile mechanics (he also held a professorship in Engines and Missiles at the Milan Polytechnic for over twenty years, from 1964 to 1984) and arrived at design almost by chance, with the foundation of the Studio in 1959. Artemide together with his architect friend Sergio Mazza. The first catalog of the newborn brand, destined to become a large group over the years, contained just six lamps: Gismondi's decision to invest in plastic, a completely new material at the time that he had discovered by studying its applications, was decisive for its development in the missile field. Artemide was one of the first Italian companies to invest decisively in it, both for the creation of lamps (such as the Eclisse by Vico Magistretti of 1965, winner of the Compasso d'Oro), and for the creation of furnishings (including the Selene chair, also created by Magistretti in 1969, the first Italian seat in plastic molded in a single piece). Since the 1970s, Artemide has concentrated solely on lighting, with timeless bestsellers such as the Tizio lamp by Richard Sapper (1972) or the Tolomeo by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina (1987). Fascinated by innovations and creative ferments, in the 1980s Gismondi was also president and financier of Memphis, a key initiative of Radical Design which saw numerous young creatives from all over the world gather around the charismatic genius of Ettore Sottsass with the aim of revolutionizing way of doing design. Meanwhile, Gismondi continued to lead Artemide successfully, also acquiring the Alias and Danese Milano brands in the early 1990s, and was later joined by his wife Carlotta De Bevilacqua in managing the companies. He dedicated a lot of energy in his last years to experimenting with new LED lights, a path that culminated in 2018 with the victory of the Compasso d'Oro for the Discovery lamp which he personally designed. Also in 2018 he was awarded a Compasso d'Oro for Lifetime Achievement.