Achille Castiglioni graduated in architecture from the Politechnico di Milano in 1944 and joined the design studio founded by his brothers Pier Giacomo and Livio and the designer Luigi Caccia Dominioni.
The studio focused mainly on exhibition design but also on architectural projects, such as the reconstruction of the Palazzo della Permanente (1952-53) that had been bombed during World War II and the Montecatini pavilion at the Fiera Milano trade fair in 1962. In 1953 Livio Castiglioni left the studio while Achille and Pier Giacomo continued their work, and in 1957 they designed the Mezzadro seat and the Sella stool both for Zanotta. Three years later the brothers made the San Luca armchair for the manufacturer Gavina and they started their long lasting collaboration with Flos when they designed the Viscontea suspension light with sprayed-on resin lampshade.
In 1956 Achille Castiglioni played a part in the foundation of ADI (Associazione per il disegnio industriale). Achille Castiglioni continued his collaboration with the manufacturer Zanotta, for whom he among other pieces, made the Leonardo table in 1969 and the Allunaggio stool, based on the design of the tractor seat. More than furniture, Castiglioni also designed the RR126 stereo systems for Brionvega and the Firenze clock for the La casa abitata exhibition in Florence (both in 1965). The clock was relaunched by Alessi in 1996.
In 1968 Pier Giacomo died and Achille continued to work with the studio, while also working as a professor in architecture at the Politecnico di Torino. Twelve years later, Achille curated and designed the touring exhibition Achille Castiglioni, Designer. During the late 1980’s Achille Castiglioni was appointed professor at the Politechnico di Milano (1986), was awarded an honorary degree from the Royal College of Art in London (1987) and received the Compasso d’Oro for his contribution to the profession.
The retrospective exhibition Alla Castiglioni opened at the Centre d’Art Santa Mònica in Barcelona in 1995, that later went on an international tour. In 1996 Castiglioni received the German Design Plus Award and five years later he was awarded an honorary degree in industrial design from the Politecnico di Milano. He died in 2002 at the age of 84.