He was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1950. As an anti-conformist and an outsider on the international scene, Santachiara’s carrier began with works that shifted between art and design, exhibiting in varied exhibition contexts including the Venice Biennale of 1980; “Tutte le arti tendono alla Performances” at Palazzo Diamanti in Ferrara in 1982; Documenta 8 in Kassel; the Quadrenniale in Rome in 1998; the Valencia Bienniale of 2005; the Saint Etienne Biennale of 2006 and “Tomorrow now” at the New Art Museum in Luxemburg in 2007. In 1984 his exhibition “La Neomerce” – the design of invention and artificial ecstasy – was presented at the Triennale di Milano and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and would become the manifesto of his international reputation as a creator of spectacular performance design characterised by ironic, technopoetic elements.
Many of his works feature in prominent collections, including the permanent collection of MoMA New York, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs du Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Museums of Lyon and Frankfurt, the Vitra Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, the Philadelphia Museum and the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. Winner of the prestigious Compasso d’oro award in 1986, Santachiara has also been honoured with the Good Design Award of 1999 by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and in April 2000, won two separate categories of the Design World 2010 awards promoted by the Accademia Italiana for his contribution to the international standing of Made in Italy.