Dino Gavina’s extraordinary adventure started when he opened an upholstery workshop in Bologna located in Via Castiglione, where in the first years after the Second World War – compelled to use salvage materials for military and railway supplies – he started producing and marketing his first furnitures.

Interested and fond in literature, visual arts and theatre; we’d say: “he travelled and met people”, but he seizes the genius and the chance to create things and characters: this is Dino Gavina’s creative blend. Indefatigable director of people, things, events arising from his imagination, a continuously moving vortex that crowned his whole life. Meetings with personalities, who sometimes he personally created. He stroke up a beautiful friendship with Lucio Fontana. He was in Milan and on the occasion of the 10th Triennale Exhibition he met the Castiglioni brothers; in 1957 at the 11th Triennale he met Kazuhide Takahama, who set up the Japanese pavilion; in Venice he met Carlo Scarpa, who in 1960 became the President of Gavina spa, the company where Tobia’s first pieces – Scarpa’s son – were then produced... A life punctuated by extraordinary characters.

The Gavina shop designed by Carlo Scarpa in Via Altabella in Bologna, the extraordinary showroom in San Lazzaro di Savena designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, still admirable modern architectures, were the venues where the memorable evenings of Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp took place. San Lazzaro was the location where in 1967 Centro Duchamp was born, as a tribute to him, where future kinetic artists worked alongside the great masters, an art project made in series for new users.

Long is the list of artists, with whom Dino Gavina collaborated; he dealt with a myriad of worlds, as this is his eclectic side. His companies – Gavina, Flos, Simon, Sirrah, Paradisoterrestre – are well-known: his passion to create furniture and lamps, his indoor and outdoor furniture, his strict line in industrial design, which partly owes to him the opening of new horizons.

– Ilka Alessandra Gavina

Ph. Margherita Cecchini

Dino Gavina

In collaboration with the Municipality of Bologna, the exhibition Cento % Dino is organized into a polyphony of events in significant places throughout the city and – aware of the impossibility of circumscribing his personality – it offers an opportunity to appreciate selected distinctive traits of Paradisoterrestre founder, in a choral narrative made up of objects, values and ideals.

It is no coincidence that the first name Dino appears in the title, to underline how much his personal characteristics as a catalyst for creativity and as a subversive – as he described himself in his business card – have been relevant in the many entrepreneurial adventures (Gavina, Flos, Simon, Sirrah, Paradisoterrestre,…) which have contributed to writing the history of design. A personal and professional history made up of relationships with some of the most important figures in the world of culture and design such as Carlo Scarpa, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Ignazio Gardella, Kazuhide Takahama, Marcel Breuer, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Lucio Fontana, Roberto Matta, Tobia Scarpa, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Enzo Mari,… but also with a city, Bologna, which today pays homage to his uniqueness.

Press release

Exhibition Cento % Dino
Exhibition Cento % Dino
Exhibition Cento % Dino - Ultramobile
Exhibition Cento % Dino
Exhibition Cento % Dino-sala d'ercole
Cento % Dino | Altabella
  • Cento % Dino Light Box
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Materials: aluminum frame, backlit fabric, interior perimeter LED system

Dimensions: 70 x 70 x 6 cm or 100 x 100 x 6 cm

Ph. Margherita Cecchini, 2001

On view at Paradisoterrestre Gallery

  • Ultramobile Collection 
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Ultramobile Collection 


Margarita by Roberto Matta, 1971
(Paradisoterrestre Edition 2019)

Le Témoin by Man Ray, 1971
(Paradisoterrestre Edition 2020)

Sacco Alato by Roberto Matta, 1971
(Paradisoterrestre Edition 2019)

Ron Ron by Marion Baruch, 1972

Les Grands Trans-Parents by Man Ray, 1971

Fausto by Novello Finotti, 1972
(Paradisoterrestre Edition 2018)

Traccia by Meret Oppenheim, 1972

MAgriTTA by Roberto Matta, 1971


On view at Paradisoterrestre Gallery

  • La casa nella casa
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La casa nella casa

1:1 reproduction of the “house within the house”, a sort of refuge, a “cube” in which to isolate oneself, which Dino Gavina created inside his own home.

On view at Sala d’Ercole – Palazzo d’Accursio