Celebrating Memphis without nostalgia is a colossal challenge. First of all because Ettore Sottsass & Co. were a school of thought but also language — the latter articulated in such a pervasive, widespread and instantly iconic way that it is still very current. It is therefore difficult for designers not to fall into the temptation “revising” a style rather than a thinking: a Memphis remake would bring about easy excitement by the press and the public as well as a good return in terms of image.
But we like challenges.
For this reason Super Superfici, the project envisaged by design curators Iacchetti and Ragni for Abet — which, let us remember, played a fundamental role in the heart of Sottsass & Co, as well as Superstudio, Alchimia and all the avant-gardes from the 60s — has a challenging subtitle: The Spirit of Memphis (reloaded).
What does it mean?
It means that, like all choral cultural events, Memphis has managed to resist the challenge of time because it represented first of all an act of courage and a proposal to look forward in a different way. That is what being radical is all about. But what remains today of the radicality of the Memphis gesture?
This is the question that Iacchetti and Ragni put to eight design studios that were formed with them in youth but have had the courage to take on a personal professional path.
Super Superfici is therefore a project but also journey, an exploration of what it means to be radical today, according to new, free and independent voices: looking at a material beyond what it appears, thinking about it in a different context, giving it a new and disruptive dignity.
For a few days now, on Abet’s Instagram account, we have been presenting the characters who are animating this research. And, from November 2nd, we will enter the heart of their research with a sort of «travel diary»: a series of Stories that tell, in a continuous evolution and with a game of references, what it means for a designer today to develop a brief.
It is design that becomes a story. Live, collective, open to comments and suggestions from others. It is a way to be together and share thoughts, inspirations and ideas in a world that unfortunately — for reasons beyond our control — forces us towards closure: which must never, ever be mental.
To be part of this adventure and follow the Super Superfici journey in our Stories, log on to @abetlaminati
Let’s have a good trip. Together