ARC 74, Milan

Objects for the Electronic Age
Nathalie du Pasquier and George Sowden, ARC 74

Very scarce catalogue from 1983 from Italian manfacturer ARC 74.
This catalogue showcases the series Objects for an Electronic Age, initiated and designed by George Sowden and Nathalie du Pasquier in 1983. The premise of the series was to mark the transition between mechanically and electronically based designs. The key argument of Sowden and du Pasquier was: ‘electronic age objects will be anything’. Sowden claimed: ‘If mechanical design is about function, then electronic objects will be about decoration’. According to Sowden and du Pasquier mechanical devices have shapes that must be housed in an exterior shell while an electronic device can become any shape. Both made 12 objects for the series.  These objects included clocks, lamps and fruit bowls (some of which are now housed in the V&A collection).

Du Pasquier and Sowden met in Milan at the inception of the Memphis design group of which they were both core founding members, and subsequently married. The series showcased in this catalogue, Objects for an Electronic Age, was the couples own project for Italian manufacturer ARC 74.  The series employs many distinctive features pioneered by the Memphis group: the use of plastic laminate and painted steel to create a colourful, patterned surface, the use of ornament, and a departure from obvious functionality in favour of a vivid sculptural form. The micro-architectural composition is reminiscent of this group of associated designers in Italy, surrounding Memphis, Studio Alchimia, etc.

This beautifully designed and printed catalogue also comes with an original invitation to the exhibition launch of Objects for an Electronic Age at the ARC 74 design showroom in Milan.  The invitation features an illustration by Nathalie du Pasquier (not pictured).

* Condition: Very good, clean copy – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

Objects for the Electronic Age - Arc 74, Italy, 1983
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