Memphis Design Group Jewelry for Acme Studio

Memphis was a Milan based group of young architects, furniture and product designers led by Ettore Sottsass. Among them were George Sowden, Michele De Lucchi, Marco Zanini, Aldo Cibic, Matheo Thun, Nathalie Du Pasquier and Martine Bedin. The group produced and exhibited annually between 1981 to 1988, collections of radical one-off designs of furniture and decorative art objects. With their unconventional shapes, brightly-colored and patterned surfaces and apparent disregard for function, Memphis shocked the international design world and caused the emergence of a new movement, often referred to as “Post-Modernism”. Ettore Sottsass called Memphis design the “New International Style”.

Acme Studios was founded in 1985 by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife Lesley Bailey. Their first product collection was a limited edition series of jewelry designed by Peter Shire, a member of the famous Memphis Group. With the help of Barbara Radice & designer/architect Ettore Sottsass, Acme's new collection (Memphis Designers for Acme), grew to become a huge collection of jewelry of over a hundred works with 14 designers and architects, including Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele De Lucchi, Ettore Sottsass, Matteo Thun, Nathalie Du Pasquier, etc. This collection debuted at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in 1986, along with the last stop for the Memphis touring show, before returning to Italy.

These rare pieces are no longer in production and all the tools, dyes and materials have been destroyed.

All pieces are part of the permanent collection at the Groninger Museum, Groningen, Holland

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