Super Superfici, the spirit of Memphis 40 years later: our workshop has started!

22 October 2020

On Instagram the format curated by Giulio Iacchetti and Matteo Ragni.

The visual identity of Leonardo Sonnoli, the guidance and supervision of our design curators Giulio Iacchetti and Matteo Ragni, the work of eight talented designers, the content curation of The Design Cut and the world of Abet at their complete disposal to reinvent a material that has made the history of design. We called it Super Superfici: it is the workshop designed to celebrate Memphis forty years, which will occur in 2021, in the best possible way: trying to unhinge the rules, making a clean sweep and looking ahead. How Sottsass & Co. would have done today.

In this text, Iacchetti and Ragni tell the meaning of Super Superfici and the reason for this project within the project.

 

Forty years ago Memphis was born. It is important to remember that moment of transition, which marked the history of design. Not out of nostalgia, but to grasp the sense of a pioneering, counter-current and unifying spirit that is still so much needed today.

Forty years ago this spirit manifested itself through a decisive, almost overbearing aesthetic, capable of shaking the wrists of the right-thinking. It expressed itself above all thanks to a material, the Abet laminate, revealing its material and aesthetic qualities, redeeming it from minor design areas and recognizing its own dignity.

 

How would the spirit of Memphis manifest itself today?

Asking this question is fundamental. Because it is obvious that we will soon be inundated with memorabilia and reinterpretations inspired by the atmospheres and palettes of Sottsass and the other members of the group. But anyone who met Sottsass knows, that’s not what he would do today. The true Masters, those who unhinge the rules, do not dwell on what has already been done but look ahead, always keeping the helm of vision straight.

Precisely for this reason, as design curator of Abet, we asked ourselves: how would the spirit of Memphis be expressed today?

We do not want to give the answer alone, but collectively, taking up that teacher-student dialogue that was fundamental to the birth and development of Memphis. Actualizing it.

We asked 8 designers, trained in our studios before starting their brilliant solo career, to try their hand at creating artifacts to be made using that world of infinite possibilities that is the Abet material library: laminate, therefore, but also Metalleido, Meg, Diafos and HPL.

We will do the same thing, knowing that a uniform collection will not come out.

The great students of today, in fact, contrary to what happened 40 years ago, are not those who consider the teacher an absolute and unequivocal point of reference but those who draw treasure from their teaching and then take off towards other horizons.

The appointment is first of all on social media, where a logbook will tell the development of the project – because today it is no longer just what you do but also how that counts. And then at the beginning of next year, when we will finally have an answer – informed, participatory and we hope decidedly pioneering – to the question that led us to start this exciting journey.

 

Giulio Iacchetti & Matteo Ragni

Design Curator, Abet Laminati

 

Participants in the project:

Federico Angi

Agustina Bottoni

Antonio de Marco

Martinelli Venezia

Chiara Moreschi

Panter&Tourron

Mario Scairato

Zanellato/Bortotto