Eye-Popping Jewelry Designed by Postmodern Architects

Peter Eisenman, Hans Hollein, and Robert Venturi join Ettore Sottsass and more in Rizzoli's 1980s paean to postmodern jewelry design.
Text by

Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer of Sight Unseen—two design editors profiled way back in Dwell's 2010 roundup of young tastemakers—have an eye for the cutting-edge. The pair found their way to an out-of-print Rizzoli tome, Barbara Radice's Jewelry by Architects, and posted the best of the bunch to their blog. Cue the postmodern drooling as we take a look at the over-the-top, outlandish, and yet somehow very of-the-moment jewelry designed by Memphis masters Ettore Sottsass, Michele de Lucchi, and Peter Shire along with architects like Peter Eisenman and Robert Venturi

Sight Unseen happened upon a 1988 book by Barbara Radice, published by Rizzoli, profiling a collection of wearable pieces commissioned by Italian jeweler Cleto Munari from a roster including Mario Bellini, Michael Graves, Richard Meier, Stanley Tigerman, and Lella Vignelli. Here, four rings designed by architect Hans Hollein.

For jewelry design in the modern camp, peruse the Dwell archive for a look at wearable design by Harry Bertoia and Margaret De Patta.

Ettore Sottsass, the Italian designer known for leading the Memphis movement, contributed a series of kinetic necklaces and shape-heavy rings to Cleto Munari's postmodern jewelry collection.

New York Five architect and Yale professor Peter Eisenman designed this monolithic cocktail ring for Munari's jewelry collection.

Noted Postmodernist architect Robert Venturi designed a cuff-style necklace that wouldn't look out of place in 2014.

Head to Sight Unseen to see more selects from Barbara Radice's book on postmodern jewelry commissioned by famous 1980s architects and designers.


Last Updated

Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.