George Sowden began his career in the old school of design, before you could work from the comfort of your own bedroom with a computer on your lap. Sowden learned early the absolute necessity of working with others to avoid mistakes.... [more]
George Sowden began his career in the old school of design, before you could work from the comfort of your own bedroom with a computer on your lap. Sowden learned early the absolute necessity of working with others to avoid mistakes. Educated at the Gloucester College of Art, and later at the Olivetti Studio in Milan (where he designed computers and calculators), he honed his skills in a collaborative context. Even as he's come to use digital technology, Sowden has maintained his predilection for collaboration and communication.
In 1981, Sowden came together with design legend Ettore Sottsass to form the Memphis design group. They made heavy use of bright colors and bold patterns, creating a style that would eventually come to define '80s design. Sowden also worked closely with his wife Nathalie du Pasquier. The two designed such pieces as "D'Antribes vitrine," a cabinet adorned on its sides with intricate puzzle-like shapes in bright red, yellow, and blue. Standing on legs as long as the cupboard they support, the colorful vitrine belongs in fantasy land. Indeed, by creating fantastic works whose various parts seem oddly incongruent, Sowden redefined high design. His style is a union of playful pop sensibilities and sheer elegance.
In the late '80s, Sowden, who had by then become a leading figure in Postmodern design, began to see that the future lay in design's interaction with computer technology. He created Studio Sowden (which became Milan-Pacific when Davy Kho, Hiroshi Ono, and Franco Mele joined in 1994). The group developed a new, digital paradigm for the design process that allowed for increased collaboration. As Sowden explained, "The speed at which we process information creates energy around the project, conveys the idea of pleasure in creating and makes space to involve other people in the development." [show less]