Pietro Chiesa served an apprenticeship in the studio of the furniture designer and interior decorator Giovan Battista Gianotti in Milan. In 1921 Pietro Chiesa opened Botega di Pietro Chiesa in Milan. In 1925 Pietro Chiesa showed work at the "Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes" in Paris.
In 1927 Pietro Chiesa joined Gio Ponti, Michele Marelli, Tomaso Buzzi, Emilio Lancia, and Paolo Venini to found Il Labirinto, which made high-quality furnishings in the Novecento style. Pietro Chiesa concentrated mainly on designing glass.
In 1933 Pietro Chiesa became artistic director of Fontana Arte, the firm founded by Gio Ponti and Luigi Fontana. Fontana Arte started out concentrating on furniture and glass but later became known for lighting. Pietro Chiesa treated glass like a valuable material, fragmenting pieces of it and using special cutting techniques. At the same time Pietro Chiesa created pure forms such as the 1932 glass table, made of a single bent band of clear glass. In 1933 Pietro Chiesa designed "Luminator", an elegant, flute-shaped floor lamp of lacquered brass tubing, which provided indirect light.
Pietro Chiesa was a leading exponent of Italian Art déco.