After completing his artistic studies he began work in a glassworks at the age of 18, producing decorated glass and learning the artisan skills of glass manufacture. In 1973 he founded the Italian design group Fiam and developed new technologies which allowed him to open up new ways for glass. This allowed the development of a company grounded in tradition yet with a contemporary eye and interest in collaborating with designers from around the world.

In 1984 Livi designed Ragno, the first monolithic dining table in the history of furniture. Other collaborations include work with Ron Arad, Claudo Bellini, Tord Boontje and Cini Boeri, who created the Ghost chair that is a contempory classic found in museum collections around the world.

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