Brionvega was founded by Giuseppe Brion in 1945, in Milan. In 1954 the company introduced the first Italian-made television sets after entering into a contract with the country's national broadcaster RAI.
In the early 1960s, Brionvega began working with notable architects and industrial designers including Franco Albini, Sergio Asti, Rodolfo Bonetto, brothers Achille, Livio, and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Mario Bellini, Richard Sapper, and Marco Zanuso. These collaborations resulted in a decade of design innovation and the introduction of products such as the Algol 11 and Doney 14 television sets, TS 502 "Cubo" radio, the RR 126 radiogram, which was introduced in 1966, followed by the "Cubo" television in 1969.
The designs that the company manufactured during this period were recognized in their time with awards such as the Compasso d'Oro and Biennale of Design (BIO), and have since become regarded as icons of 1960s Italian design. Domus magazine has stated that "You could write a telling history of Italian post-war industrial design almost entirely through the products of Brionvega". Many of the company's products are held in museum collections including the ADI Design Museum in Milan, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Victoria and Albert in London, and the Cooper Hewitt and Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In more recent decades, the company continued its practice of collaboration with acclaimed designers and is celebrated as an example of the finest values found in Italian design and craftsmanship. Reborn today thanks to SIM2, a leading Italian audiovisual company, Brionvega’s timeless pieces will once more bring the joy of music, radio, and crystal-clear entertainment to your home.
In 1965, at the height of the Space Age trend, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed an object for Brionvega, an icon of 20th-century design whose fame and mythical status remains intact to this day: the rr126 radiofonografo. The personalism of technology, now an intimate part of people’s lives, was already part of the Castiglioni concept of technology and an object that would keep people company, that they could relate to, that they could look in the face only to feel the strange distancing effect of seeing their reflection in the smiling face of a robot.
The spatial and cosmic air of the radiofonografo did not escape one particular space fan. David Bowie was an admirer and proud owner of a Brionvega radiofonografo, which he appreciated both for its aesthetic qualities as an exclusive piece of furniture and for the quality of the music it reproduced.