giulio iacchetti industrial design
giulio iacchetti industrial design
/ /

title: SuperSuperfici! The spirit of Memphis
client: Abet Laminati
date: 4 september 2021 – 24 september 2021

Exhibition curated by Giulio Iacchetti and Matteo Ragni

designers: Federico Angi, Agustina Bottoni, Antonio De Marco, Martinelli Venezia, Chiara Moreschi, Panter Tourron, Mario Scairato, Zanellato Bortotto

exhibition design: Giulio Iacchetti, Matteo Ragni

graphic design: Leonardo Sonnoli

photo credits: Max Rommel

Forty years ago Memphis was born. It is important to remember that passing moment, which marked the history of design. Not for the sake of nostalgia but to capture the sense of a pioneering, countercultural and aggregating spirit that is still needed today. Forty years ago this spirit manifested itself through a decisive, almost overbearing aesthetic that could make well-meaning people shake in their boots. And it was expressed through a material, Abet laminate, revealing its dignity.  How would that radicality be expressed today? We did not want to answer this question alone.  On the contrary, actualizing the master-pupil dialogue that was fundamental to the birth and development of Memphis, we asked eight designers who trained in our studios before starting brilliant solo careers to explore with us the spirit of Memphis. To then shape objects capable of expressing the sense and meaning of radicality today, using that world of infinite possibilities that is Abet’s material library: laminate, then, but also Metalleido, MEG, Diafos, HPL. As befits collective and research projects, SuperSurfaces! was therefore a workshop but also a journey, especially a temporal one. Indeed, together with the eight studios involved, we immersed ourselves in the past that was Memphis, to grasp its revolutionary scope of thought beyond the aesthetic manifestation; in the present of Abet surfaces, so changed in the last 40 years, transformed by new technologies and research; and in the future, to imagine the meaning, as well as the form, of a truly radical design gesture today. This catalog is the memory of this journey. Which we also wanted to document “in the making” on Instagram (@abetlaminati, featured stories)” with a collective “logbook” developed during the weeks of thinking about and making prototypes. Because the value of design-especially research design, today exactly as it was 40 years ago-is not only in the result but also in the process and thinking that generated it.