b&b italia and luminaire chicago are thrilled to celebrate contemporary italian design and welcome the multi-disciplinary designer, architect and artist gaetano pesce in celebration of his incredible design trajectory. gaetano pesce will attend an intimate meet-and-greet 27 october at 2 pm at luminaire chicago river north district showroom, that will follow a lecture at 6pm at school of the art institute of chicago in the rudbloff auditorium regarding his design theories and inspirations. click here to rsvp and meet gaetano pesce.
above> piero lissoni, nasir kassamali and giulio cappellini
saturday 14 may 2016 / 3p / conversation room / wanted design manhattan / 269 11th ave ( btw 27th & 28th )
italian design brands and the us market: opportunities
guilio cappellini / creative director and talent scout
nasir kassamali / founder of luminaire and talent scout
piero lissoni / architect and designer
in conversation with gilda bojardi / editor in chief interni
use your ears to listen to the ‘i’s’
Friedman Benda opened its eighth season with Ettore Sottsass 1955-1969. The fourth in a series devoted to the expansive oeuvre of the groundbreaking Italian architect – designer Ettore Sottsass (1917‐2007), the exhibition ten years in the making will explore the breadth of Sottsass’ remarkable creativity in the early stages of his career. With a display of unique ceramics, rare furniture and lighting, and vintage photographs never before seen in the United States, the exhibition will also be the first in a newly configured exhibition space for Friedman Benda in Chelsea.
The showing serves as a gateway to understanding an extremely diverse and fertile 15-year period in Italian design and art, which precedes the years of Radical Design. These are the formative years for the designer who used ceramics as a laboratory for developing a new language of design. Rare ceramics on view will include work from every important series of this period and several are derived from Sottsass’s memories and reflections of his travels to India, to the U.S., and from personal life experiences.
Among them will be examples of Lava (1957), Tondi (1959), and Tenebre (1963), the designer’s “Darkness” series in somber tones with mandala – like imagery, conceived during a protracted illness. Others will be from Shiva (1964), a series celebrating his return to good health with homage to the Indian deity, the great conqueror of death, and from the Tantra (1968), and Fumo (1969), series. All of these works have been extensively published and collected by museums worldwide.
Furniture and lighting will also include major one‐of‐a‐kind pieces: the first showing in the United States of a bookshelf made for a director of Olivetti; front slatted rosewood cabinets, one in white and one in red; and examples of mirrors and lighting designed for Arredoluce. Sottsass, who worked in a variety of media, produced many of these works for his patrons, while others were created as artistic expressions in his studio practice.
[ ettore sottsass ] (1917 – 2007) was an Italian architect and designer. His body of designs included furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting and office machine designs.
In 1956, Ettore Sottsass began working as a design consultant for Olivetti, designing office equipment, typewriters, and furniture where made his name as a designer who, through color, form and styling, managed to bring office equipment into the realm of popular culture. In office equipment his iconic Valentine typewriter (1969) became a fashion statement.
His work from the late 60s to the 70s was defined by experimental collaborations with younger designers such as Superstudio and Archizoom Associati, and association with the Radical movement, culminating in the foundation of Memphis.
In 1980 Sottsass Associati was established, primarily an architectural practice, although also designed elaborate stores and showrooms for Esprit, identities for Alessi, exhibitions, interiors, consumer electronics in Japan and furniture of all kinds.attracted attention world wide for its energy and flamboyance.
exhibit > ettore sottsass: 1955 -1969
venue > friedman benda | 515 west 26th street | new york | 212 239 8700
dates> 10 september > 17 october 2015
check out the italian design outlets in SoHo and uptown.
ross lovegrove’s Cosmic lamp
Last night marked the beginning of the Milano New York Italian Design Street Walk, which runs through January 8. Under the auspices of isaloni, the cultural and commercial organization for design, companies are welcoming visitors. For a map of participants see isaloni.it/ny
Artemide premiered Ross Lovegrove’s dramatic “Cosmic” lamp series in the U.S.; it combines digital effects with the imagery of a dragon fly wing or a Brancusi bird. Gio Ponti was recalled at FontanaArte with lamps and graphics, while Kartell evoked Milan with huge photo murals on the walls of the Duomo and Galleria, providing backdrop for its new furniture designs. Molteni & C/DADA displayed a special limited edition of the Aldo Rossi secretary, called Carteggio, produced in green. One of the pieces will be bestowed on the lucky winner of a raffle. The box filled up quickly with business cards; the winner will be announced Dec. 24.
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what these chairs may lack in comfort they make up for in style.
The aptly named Magica (black) and Magica2 (white) play on the illusion created by the plexiglass base that make is seem as if the chairs really only sit on two legs. The tromp l’oeil won Italian designer Davide Conti first place in Furniture Design at Design Quest’s competition in Grand Rapids, MI this past March.
designer: david conti
producer: awaiting production
a design history question. when was this chair designed? to what art genre does it belong?
if you would have said early 80s and maybe designed by peter shire that would have been a good answer. but you would be wrong.
above: bel air arm chair designed by peter shire in 1982 while with the memphis group.
the pink chair was designed in 1968, and by someone you may never have heard of, unless you’re an insider in british design circles. her name is jane dillon. below is a picture of jane, sitting in one of her other late 60s chairs.
in the late 60s as a recent graduate of the royal college of art she found her way to the milan studio of ettore sottsass. for the most part she worked on color studies for a line of olivetti office furniture for sottsass . and she also worked out some absolutely amazing chair designs.
dillon gave the victoria & albert museum some of her archival materials, including the pictures included in this blog post. above are one of the earliest development drawings – with a tentative title of ‘T-Time,’ a reference to the idea of including an integral table in the design – and a geometric study showing the plan of the chair as if viewed from above.
below is another motion study, a quick sketch in red pen. the two vignettes at lower left again show the chair in use from above. the idea being shown is that as the sitter shifts her weight from side to side, the seat beneath her (and the other elements of the chair) will move on a swivel joint.
as stylish as the chair looks today dillon’s felt it was mainly an exercise in dynamic ergonomics. the motion study above indicates this, but it’s clearer still in the final preparatory drawing below, which shows how three of the chair’s four parts swivel in coordination according to the user’s shifting posture. she thought of it as a functionalist experiment, more late bauhaus or gerrit rietveld than pop or postmodern.
the chair was put into limited production by a company called planula – sottsass made the connection for her – and was produced in several variations of shape and color, including the green version below. it was received well by the design community and it was reproduced in the magazine domus. in 1972 the chair was nearly included in an important exhibition about italian design at the museum of modern art called ‘the new domestic landscape’. unfortunately the curators decided dillon didn’t count as italian.
dillon has also designed for habitat, herman miller, and cassina. she went back to the royal college of art to teach, and more recently, she has teamed up with designer tom grieves ( studio dillon ) plus to experiment with innovative environmentally sustainable furniture; keeping up to date today seems to be more important to her than having been ahead of the curve in 1968. still, she’s able to marvel at what she came up with back then. “it’s the most amazing kind of object. only when it’s in use does it become a new kind of chair.” she was made an honorary fellow of the royal college of art in 2006.
dillon’s experimentations and her association with sottsass was timely, as 10 years later sottsass assembled the memphis group, composed of italian designers and architects who created a series of products in 1981. they disagreed with the approach of the time and challenged the idea that products had to follow conventional shapes and colors and textures and patterns. the group’s theoretical concepts mixed 20th century styles, colors and materials, positioned itself as a fashion rather than an academic movement, and hoped to erase the international style where postmodernism had failed, preferring an outright revival and continuation of modernism proper rather than a re-reading of it.[original story]
peter shire–la curbed
michele de lucchi
nathalie du pasquier
ronan and erwan bouroullec