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Matteo Thun

Matteo Thun

*  1952 Bozen

Matteo Thun was born in the South Tyrol in 1952. By 1975 Matteo Thun had finished studying architecture at Florence University. From 1973 to 1976 Matteo Thun attended summer courses at the "School of Seeing" at the Salzburg Academy founded by Oskar Kokoschka in 1953. In 1978 Matteo Thun made the acquaintanceship of the designer Ettore Sottsass; after going to Milan, Matteo Thun worked in Sottsass' practice. From 1980 Matteo Thun was a partner at Sottsass Associati. In 1981 Matteo Thun joined Ettore Sottsass, Barbara Radice, Michele de Lucchi, Aldo Cibic, and Martine Bedin to found Memphis, for which designers such as Michael Graves, Hans Hollein, and Shiro Kuramata would also later work. The group of designers associated with Memphis opposed the tenets of functionalism and Good Design. The powerfully expressive, colorful, and playful designs created by Memphis represented a continuation of the trends launched by Radical Design, Anti-Design and Studio Alchimia; they were formative for the 1980s and actively promoted the global spread of Postmodernism. As soon as Memphis began to be less popular in 1988, it disbanded itself. M. Thun only belonged to Memphis until 1984; his ceramics in bizarre forms with wavy jagged rims, including the jugs "Corvuc Corax" (1982) and "Cuculux Canorus" (1983) and the vases "Danubio" and "Volga" (both 1983), are the best known Matteo Thun designs for Memphis. In 1982 Matteo Thun was invited to teach at the Viennese Kunstgewerbeschule. Matteo Thun and his students there designed limited-edition ceramics for the "In the Spirit of the USA" project commissioned by the venerable ceramics firm Villeroy & Boch. In 1984 Matteo Thun left Sottsass Associati to found his own practice in Milan. From 1990 to 1993 Matteo Thun was artistic director at Swatch. Designs by Matteo Thun have been made by such famous firms as Arteluce, Arzberg, Bulgari, Kartell, Villeroy & Boch, Vorwerk, WMF, and Zucchetti. Das Büro Matteo Thun's practice designed numerous interiors for clients such as the Side Hotel in Hamburg (2001), Therme Merano (2005), Altstadt Wien (2006), the P1 disco in Munich (2003), and shop interiors for Missoni (1998-2002), Fila (2001), and Porsche Design (2005/06).