He was born in 1912 in Venice and attended the University of Genoa to study aeronaval engineering before moving to Milan. He outfitted a vase with a light fixture from a coffee machine, and this became his first-ever lamp design, paving the way for a lot of inspiration and innovations to come. He worked hand-in-hand with other artisans to develop designs; he believed that designers and manufacturers should work together to make the design more flexible, easy to repair, maintain and disassemble, and more robust. This was a learning process for him because he could pick up the details of producing lighting as he worked with these artisans. The knowledge he acquired helped him come up with new and unique types of lighting.In 1939, Gino co-founded Arteluce, which became recognized internationally due to its modern architectural lighting design. Gino fled to Brianza during WWII and then to Switzerland in fear of persecution for his father being Jewish. He later came back to Milan and resumed control of Arteluce. When Gino started his career, his focus was on lamps with an upward and downward lighting source and adjustable directional beams. However, after the war, he shifted attention to complex lighting effects using new reflectors, switches, light sources, and wiring. He also used materials and shapes he had not used before. Some designers that designed at Arteluce included Livio Castiglioni, Massimo Vignelli, Franco Albini and Gianfranco Frattini, to name a few. Even with all these designers, Gino did not stop designing and using new technology to develop remarkable and outstanding designs. It is worth noting that during his career, Gino produced more than 400 lighting fixtures, was among the first to use halogen bulbs, designing some of the pioneering halogen table lamps in 1971. He was not left behind when innovations entailed technical lighting effects, light sources, designs, material, and typology. He won numerous awards like the Compasso d′Oro in 1954 and 1955, with his work exhibited in several museums. He sold the company to FLOS in 1973 and later died in 1984.
Alessandro Sarfatti, inspired by his father's belief in perpetual progress, founded Astep, a company intertwining three generations of design ethos with modern lighting technology.