Tobia Scarpa was born in Venice, Italy in 1935. He graduated from the Instituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice in the late 1950s, where he met his wife, Afra Blanchin. Together, they launched their career working for Venini glassworks. In 1960 they went on to open their own design office in Montebelluna. Continuing to collaborate with his wife for companies like FLOS and Knoll, the duo have developed a vocabulary for accessible luxury design based on expanding technology and a wide variety of materials.
Along with Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Scarpa was commissioned to design the first models for the lighting company FLOS. His Papillion Lamp for Flos (1973) was one of the first designs to use the new halogen technology.