Roberto Barbieri studied at Milan Polytechnic, graduating in 1969. In the same year, he began to work with the architect Marco De Carli, realising numerous design, graphic, and architectural projects. In addition Barbieri worked as a consultant in the areas of architecture and design, cooperating with numerous well-known Italian manufacturers. In 1994, he began collaborating with Zanotta designing a number of chairs, including the Familia Lea & Lia - a diverse series of chairs that are as modern now as they were when created in 1999. The versatile Italian architect and designer died in 2012.