He graduated in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano in 1948 and in 1953 moved to Chicago, where he was Visiting Professor at the Design Institute of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
On his return to Italy, in 1965, he opened a professional studio in Milan together with Bruno Morassutti, with whom he worked until 1960. He is one of the founders of ADI, Association for Industrial Design (1965).
In the field of architecture it distinguishes itself in research on materials and construction techniques, experimenting in particular the possibilities offered by prefabrication techniques and industrial production.
He joins the professional activity of teaching in Italy and abroad, holding courses and conferences in numerous Italian and foreign universities.
In 1989 he opened in Tokyo, together with ten Japanese architects, Io studio Mangiarotti & Associates. In 1990 he was Visiting Professor at the Politecnico di Milano. He outlined the theoretical foundations of his work in the volume In nome dell’architettura (1987). He holds seminars and lectures in numerous European and American universities.