Design Icon: George Sowden

Read the story of George Sowden, extremely talented Milan based designer and one of the founding members of the iconic Memphis Group. Step into Memphis charm, through a harmony of saturated colors in daily objects, patterns and graphics on ceramic vases and carpets designed by George Sowden.

Leeds born industrial designer, George Sowden has been involved in several interdisciplinary projects- from domestic appliances to handmade decorative objects, including ceramics, glassware and textiles. After completing his architecture studies at Gloucester College of Art, in 1970 he moved to Milan for work and never left. His adventure in Milan began when he started working as a designer with Olivetti, where he designed numerous appliances. His design research and fresh curiosity to break out from conventional designs led him to unite with ​Ettore Sottsass and other international designers to create ​Memphis. Also known as a dawn of the new style in the early 80's, Memphis design movement pushed the limits of strong graphics, colors breaking the rules of modernism. These strong elements became the main ingredients of his personal practice. Simultaneously, he founded his namesake studio, ​Sowden Design, that collaborates with several internationally renowned companies. 

In his extensive career, George Sowden has received several awards including the prestigious ADI Compasso d'Oro and his works have been featured in “Designing the 21st century” published by Taschen. In 1990, The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Bordeaux, France, held an exhibition of his work, “George J. Sowden Designing 1970-1990”.

George Sowden continues to develop products for various companies. Some of his statement furniture and décor pieces for ​Post Design​Bitossi Ceramics​Memphis display a new rendition of classic products that surely strike out of the mundane. He says that his designs facilitate one’s personal freedom to decide the final effect of the patterns used.

Pattern adds emotional interest and identity to interiors

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