(Bolzano, Italy, 1952)
Matteo Thun is an Italian architect and designer, born and raised in the bilingual German and Italian region of South Tyrol. Thun studied under Oskar Kokoschka and Emilio Vedova at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, and graduated in Architecture at the University of Florence in 1975 with Adolfo Natalini. He moved to Milan in 1978, met Ettore Sottsass and started working in his studio. In 1981 he was one of the co-founders of the Memphis Group. The following year, the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna appointed him to the chair of Industrial Design and Ceramics. In 1984 he opened his own studio in Milan. In 2001 he founded Matteo Thun + Partners: a multicultural architecture and design studio based in Milan and Shanghai. The studio’s work focuses on aesthetic durability, technological longevity. and the future durability of buildings and products. He won the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award for Design Excellence three times, as well as the Good Design Award and the Simon Taylor Award for Lifetime Achievement, both in 2011. He was included in the Interior Design Hall of Fame in New York in December 2004 and is a member of RIBA, the Royal Association of British Architects.
Flower vase in decorated white porcelain.
W 15 x D 15 x H 30 cm
With Memphis, quoting Barbara Radice, ‘Those who follow Sottsass pursue neither a style, nor an ideology. They adhere to a very simple principle: the world is perceived through the senses.’ What better material is there to represent this than that of ceramic? With its glossy surface it is alluring but is also tactile at the same time. One is reminded of engaging and enjoying senses sparked by this everyday ceramic object, both visually, enticed by its beauty, and in a tactile sense feeling the smoothness of the ceramic while handling it.
A departure from the bright colour associated with the first collection of Memphis back in 1981, Titicaca is rendered all in white. The surprise element here is the completely unconventional form of a flower vase, rendered in dissected and intersecting geometric shapes stacked together, with the jagged ridges and angles contrasting with the globular base. The decoration is very subtle, with grey dots decorating the ridges and the triangle, emphasizing the natural shadows and thus its shape.