Architect-designer Matteo Thun was born in Bolzano in 1952. He studied at the Salzburg Academy with Oskar Kokoschka and at the University of Florence. After meeting Ettore Sottsass, he was invited to become a cofounder of the Memphis group in Milan, and was a partner at Sottsass Associati from 1980 to 1984. He was a professor of design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1983 to 2000. In 1984, he opened his own studio in Milan. Between 1990 and 1993, Thun was also the art director at the Swatch watch company.
In 2001, Thun joined forces with Luca Colombo, Herbert Rathmaier, and Antonio Rodriguez to found Matteo Thun & Partners in Milan. The company was later organized into the companies MTLC, MTDR, and Matteo Thun & Partners China. These various creative entities develop projects in the architectural, interior design, and product design arenas. Cumulatively, they employ approximately 60 professionals, including architects, designers, and graphic designers.
Thun has worked with numerous brands, including Artemide, Fontana Arte, Missoni, Porsche, Philips Electronics, Driade, and Zucchetti. Notable projects include, among many others, the iconic illy Espresso Cup (1991), the playful Chad and Rara Avis teapots for Memphis (both 1982), and the interior design of Hamburg’s Side Hotel, one of the first design hotels in the world, which won the Hotel des Jahres award in 2001. Thun and his studio have received several other honors as well, including, but not limited to: Red Dot Awards for Product Design for the Zucchetti Isy System (2002), the Porsche Design Store (2006), and Wood & Laminate Edition 1 (2009); multiple Good Design Awards (2003, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013); Wallpaper Design Awards for Vigilius Mountain Resort interiors (2004), TVS Terra Cookware (2010), and Rapsel Ofurò Bath (2010); an ICFF Editors Award for Rapsel Il bango che non c'è (2009); and a Compasso d’Oro for the Girly System (2004).