It was only a week and a half ago that we reported on a cache of original, made-in-the-80s Memphis jewelry designs that the brand ACME has spent the past few months pulling from its archives and posting for sale on its Legacy website (where it appears that even more designs, particularly those by Peter Shire, have since been added). But we had to come in for round two today when we found out that, just this morning, Acme unleashed the motherlode: actual objects, long unavailable and highly rarefied, by the likes of Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi, and Aldo Rossi. Many of them are original prototypes, some of them are one-of-a-kind, and none of them were ever put into mass production. We've posted a selection of the offerings after the jump, along with the bits of history provided by ACME — get them before the collectors do!
After our recent post on jewelry created by famous '80s-era Memphis-group architects, readers came to us asking where they could find the pieces (good luck), while even copies of the out-of-print book we pulled the images from immediately became exponentially harder to procure (for under $350, at least). And so despite the excitement the post generated, it was destined to remain a mere digital artifact for most. That's why we were so happy to discover, shortly thereafter, Acme's Legacy collection, through which the 30-year-old accessories brand — which these days focuses on designer pens — has been quietly pulling Memphis jewelry pieces out of its archives and making them available for sale at shockingly reasonable price points. From 1985 to 1992, Acme founders Adrian Olabuenaga and Leslie Bailey produced more than 100 different earrings, brooches, and necklaces by design titans like Ettore Sottsass, Joanna Grawunder, Alessandro Mendini, and George Sowden, a big chunk of which are now up for grabs on its Legacy page. We asked Olabuenaga a few questions about the history and future of the project.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: long-awaited collections from two of our favorite designers, a new exhibition and book from the doyenne of Memphis, and a serious contender for the best watering can we've ever seen.
There are some books that are quoted, referenced, or photographed so often in our line of work that they begin to feel like touchstones for design-world enthusiasts all over the world. The Nathalie du Pasquier–illustrated Leonard Koren bible Arranging Things: A Rhetoric of Object Placement is of those such books; the late-'90s graphic-design manifesto Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist is another. But recently, another book has begun popping up no matter where we look. Esprit: The Comprehensive Design Principle — a huge, softcover paean to every design aspect of the beloved 1980s fashion brand — was published in 1989 by its founder Douglas Tompkins, but has experienced a resurgence of late in these '80s nostalgia–tinged, Memphis revival–happy times.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: A full report on our travels in Miami and Finland is coming next week, but until then we have acid-trip lenticulars, '80s-era armchairs, and the most G-rated fun you can have in 52 pages.
"In Panama, the term "Nanny" is thrown around a lot because everyone has one. To have someone who comes to your home or apartment once or twice a week, some are even live-in, is more than common in Panama. There's even an extra bedroom and bathroom in every home and apartment for live-in nannies. Over time while painting at my studio I began to take notice of some of the cleaning supplies my "nanny," Lucre, was using on a day-to-day basis. The colors, patterns, and textures of the supplies began to catch my eye and greatly intrigued me. With the sudden idea of buying art supplies not at the art store but in the cleaning aisles of grocery stores or mini-marts #NannyArt began to take form."
Until about six months ago, there was only one Munari we idolized: Bruno, one of our favorite 20th century designers and design theorists. (If you haven't read Design As Art, we suggest you hop to it!) But then, one fateful day this past spring, we were wandering aimlessly around the internet when we stumbled on what is perhaps the biggest editorial coup we've scored in years, and thus began our love affair with Cleto Munari — the Italian designer, who as far as we can tell is unrelated to Bruno, commissioned a dream-team of architects like Ettore Sottsass and Peter Eisenman in the early '80s to create a jewelry collection for his eponymous company, and the project had almost no coverage anywhere on the web. We immediately snapped up a copy of the incredible out-of-print book that documented it, which we're excerpting just a small portion of here.
Before we began Sight Unseen five years ago, Monica and I worked for the beautiful but now-defunct design magazine I.D. And though we were helping to run one of the most venerable design publications in the country, in hindsight, we were mere babies in terms of our design education. Which is perhaps why, when we received an entry to our annual competition for a molded plastic beach chair by a designer named Larry Laske back in 2008, the name failed to ring a bell. But maybe it wasn’t purely our ignorance. After all, Laske is the classic case of a behind-the-scenes designer who ought to be much more famous than he is. The creative mind behind two classic pieces for Knoll in his own right (the ‘90s-era Toothpick and Saguaro tables) Laske also worked for years alongside Ettore Sottsass, and designed incredible prototypes with some of the world’s most famous designers: Ingo Maurer, Philippe Starck, and Matteo Thun, among them. Next week at Wright, an online-only auction will be held to benefit Laske’s foundation, A Brain Tumor and A Dream.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: experimental materials made from chalk and coal (above), a new Book/Shop annex in New York, and our first-ever radio show interview, with Design Sponge's Grace Bonney.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: We kind of wish our subjects could talk to each other! What would the painter who studied the emotional effects of color and geometry say to the South American graphic designer who obsessively creates shape studies (above)? Talk amongst yourselves.
For everyone who's ever bought, coveted, or loved the famous laminates of the Memphis design group — or is semi-ashamedly stalking the new Nathalie Du Pasquier collection at American Apparel — it is nearly impossible not to fall for the work of the young Belgian illustrator Tim Colmant. We succumbed the moment we discovered his cheerful illustrations a little over a year ago, and went on to recommend him to Jonah Takagi, furniture designer and co-founder of the housewares brand Field, when he curated an exhibition for our Noho Design District event last year. A few weeks ago, we found out that our little matchmaking scheme had evolved even further, into a collaboration between Colmant and Takagi's insanely talented girlfriend Mary Timony, whose new band Ex Hex has hired him to wrap its merch in his signature Microsoft Paint–inspired designs. We figured it was time to check in and see what else Colmant has been up to in the year since we first featured him.