For the last several years, designers have been toying with a distinctly un-minimalist vision of product design. Referencing the postmodern movement of the 1980s, they incorporate mixed geometries, primary colors, and pastiche material treatments.
The work of Italian designer Ettore Sottsass is experiencing something of a renaissance, so an auction of his personal archive is well-timed. Enter Christie’s, which put 80 pos- sessions from Sottsass’s Milan apartment up for private sale in December 2013. One fine example is a 1965 storage tower, which represents an early experiment with the totem silhouette that would later become a signature.
Ceramics by Keiichi Tanaka. Functional beauty is the ethos behind the Japanese ceramist’s work. Side dishes in playful silhouettes are grounded by earthy, tactile glazes. Courtesy of Keiichi Tanaka.
Kapla small unit by Cedric Ragot for Roche Bobois. The mix-and-match buffet is available in a wide array of material combinations (two types of wood and 30 colors of matte lacquer, plus chromed steel). Courtesy of Roche Bobois.
Xystum Color Block vase by CB2. Postmodernism appropriates classical cues in a Pop-y, contemporary manner. Therefore, this vase’s name, a Greek architectural term loosely translated as “portico,” is apropos. Courtesy of CB2.
Grey Matter pillow by Nathalie Du Pasquier for Wrong for HAY. Sebastian Wrong’s new collection for the Danish design giant includes textiles from the archives of one of the Memphis group’s founding members. Courtesy of Wrong for HAY.
Halo-Halo tiles by Paola Navone for Bisazza. The Italian designer, who worked alongside Sottsass and other avant-garde Alchimia and Memphis group members, has designed a series of nine graphic mosaic tiles that can be arranged at will. Courtesy of Bisazza.
Considered Objects by David Taylor. Taylor, whose studio is in Stockholm, returns to the U.S.A. in February 2014 for a residency at San Francisco’s NWBLK gallery. His showstopping vase, mirror, and dish are made of brass and raw concrete. Courtesy of NWBLK gallery.
Conny Plank bench by Al Que Quiere. Principal Matthew Sullivan named his solid walnut bench with a waxed finish after a German music producer. We see a bit of Memphis in the stair-stepped design. Courtesy of Al Que Quiere.