He was born in Venice, where he attended the school of fine arts, obtaining his diploma in sculpture and plastic materials under the guidance of Alberto Viani. The sixties was a magic moment of the great Venetian hotbed, years in which great interpreters of contemporary arts were working and in a kaleidoscope of ideas, suggestions and experiments instilled new energy into the melting-pot of arts. After two years of specialisation in "Industrial design and materials technology", Derai taught figurative arts and applied technology; he also taught the technology of glass to Murano student glassmakers. At the same time he concentrated on lighting designs and started working with the important companies in the sector. It is in this industrial sphere, experienced as a large collective furnace, that Derai exploits his artistic disposition and also his acute sensitivity for the use of plastic arts in technological settings, having the courage to transfer the culture of the goldsmith's art and glassmaking to industrial design. Derai gives a new touch to the traditional art of glassmaking by using new materials and new workings. His in-depth knowledge of the technology of metals has opened up the way to applications of industrial design where the idea of light is engineered and becomes a machine for lighting. Sculpture objects were created which became industrial multiples and once more gave light a leading role in interior decoration. Since 1971 Derai has been designing and developing lighting systems exclusively for Fabbian. Thirty years with hundreds of collections a vital, fervent contribution to today's corporate philosophy.