Mario Bellini graduated in architecture from the Politechnico di Milano in 1959, and in the following year he designed the plywood table Ivrea for Pedretti, Gavina and Knoll. The table was awarded the Compasso D’Oro in 1962.
From 1961 to 1963 Bellini was head of design at the La Rinascente department store chain, while also founding his own design studio in 1962. He was a lecturer at the Istituto Superiore di Designo Industrale in Venice from 1962-65 and starting in 63, he was Chief industrial design consultant at Olivetti where he stayed until 1991.
In 1970 Bellini designed the armchair Amanta for C&B Italia made of a fiberglass frame and corduroy fabric upholstery and in 1972 he designed the Le Bambole for C&B Italia (from 1973 B&B Italia), a sofa soft with enveloping curves, that was made possible due to the advances in injection-molded polyurethane foam. The same year, he also designed the Divisumma 18 Calculator for Olivetti.
In 1973 Bellini established Studio Bellini in Milan, in 1977 he designed the Cab Chair for Cassina, a steal framed chair with zip-up leather covering. From the end of the 70’s until the middle of the 80’s, Bellini was a design consultant at Renault, lecturer at the Hoch-schule für angewandre Kunst in Vienna and instructor at Domus Academy in Milan. Bellini’s first retrospective solo-exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1987.
During the 90’s Bellini completed the design of the Tokyo Design Centre in Japan (1991) and founded the Atelier Bellini with his son Claudio and together they designed the Bellini Chair for Heller (1997-98). With his new studio Bellini created the Portello Trade Fair District in Milan (1997). In 2001 Bellini was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for the eight time.
In 2010 Bellini designed the new Islamic Art Galleries at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. At the Triennale di Milano in 2017 he was honored with the exhibition Mario Bellini Italian Beauty.