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THE CARLTON DRESSER - By Ettore Sottsass - 1981

V. Ryan 2011

 

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In 1981 Ettore Sottsass presented his Carlton Dresser. As a dresser it lacks functionality, in fact it would be fair to describe this furniture as virtually unusable. It is typically Post Modern, in that can be described as a display piece or even a discussion piece. Nevertheless, it is an interesting design, with its choice of bright colours and its angular arrangement of sides and supporting pieces. The design challenges traditional and modernist design principles, just like many other Memphis designs.
 
Modern materials have been used, including coloured melamine laminated MDF.
 
 
THE CARLTON DRESSER AND MEMPHIS DESIGN PRINCIPLES
 
The Carlton Dresser displays some, but not all of the Memphis Design Principles. These are outlined below.
 
1. Emphasis has been placed on aesthetics, shape and form.

2. A combination of styles. An Ancient Egyptian style, combined with modern materials, to form a design/product.

3. A controversial design.

4. Use of common, everyday materials such as MDF and melamine. This principle was shared with the Bauhaus and Modernism.

5. A 'One Off' manufacture or suitable for mass production (not entirely matching Memphis design principles).

6. Accurately manufactured, so that angled materials match up and fit properly. No obvious signs of high level craft skills (not entirely matching Memphis design principles).

7. Could be cheap to manufacture / mass produce (not entirely matching Memphis design principles).

8. A work of art, rather than a functional object.
 
 
 
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