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was born in Milan, Italy in 1963.

During the past 30 years, he has dedicated his work and passion to wood, researching new construction solutions for structures, objects and furniture but also designing new interlocking connection systems in plywood and solid wood.  He has also dedicated attention to the acoustic properties of this material, building musical instruments in wood or bamboo. 

"I believe that trees and wood, their essence, make people aware that they are part of nature, and need to establish a bridge between our world and the land which we depend on. Wood is part of our daily life, and this constantly reminds us who we are and where we come from and our responsibility towards the rest of the planet, helping us to maintain the meaning of the word humanity".

After graduating from the Politecnico di Milano, in 1988 he started to work as an architect and designer.

From 1989 - 1995 he mainly worked as an architect.

His experience as a furniture designer started in 1996 when TOTEM, which specializes in the design and production of wooden knock-down furniture, was founded; some designs developed during the period before the company was started (1992-1995), featured in the first TOTEM catalogue, were later produced and distributed by other companies in 1999.
This site features his furniture designs and includes brief descriptions of his most important pieces and the events he has participated in as a designer (exhibitions, fairs, conventions, teaching experiences.)

Beside the broad range of items he has designed for TOTEM, including beds, modular bookcases, chairs, lamps, armoires and children’s furniture, he has also created solid wood designs for other companies, particularly in the ecological furniture sector.
From 1997 to 2001, he was president of Materia Utile, an ecological furniture consortium, featured at the Salone Satellite in 1999.
Paolo Cogliati’s designs have appeared in numerous publications, journals and exhibitions. His Canoa bed was selected for Carrefour de la creation, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2001.
In 2002, he was a member of the committee that established a national standard for ecological furniture (anab - aiab - fsc - wwf - università la sapienza of roma).
Since 2003, he has collaborated in the public sector, in particular with schools and preschools. 

In 2005 Totem opened a workshop in Bolivia, a country going through a new political and cultural season, making the native population the protagonist of development and change as they reclaimed their ownership of the country’s natural resources.

Contact Me


T- +39 02 54121585

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