Trained as a painter and sculptor in Italy, Colombo turned to industrial design in the 1960s. Consumers were enamored with futuristic, machine-made objects inspired by the mid-century space race and Pop art movement. Colombo’s work envisioned the habitats and lifestyles of the future, creating amorphous, rounded forms from synthetic materials. He created some of the most iconic products of the 1960s, such as the Universale– a stackable, easy-to-clean chair made from a single piece of polypropylene. Over the course of his brief career, Colombo increasingly explored the design of whole interiors, predicting: "The repercussions on the way in which humanity lives could be considerable. People will be able to study at home and carry on their own activities there. Distances will no longer have much importance."