Have you Seen This Forgotten PoMo Jewelry by 1980s Architects?

Jewelry designed by . Image © Rizzoli New York Courtesy of Sight Unseen

It’s not often that a major design project by a bevy of superstar architects is forgotten to history. But this seems to be what happened in the 1980s, when Italian designer Cleto Munari commissioned a stable of world-famous architects to design a new jewelry collection. The (unashamedly PoMo) results were documented in a now almost forgotten book by Barbara Radice called simply “Jewelry By Architects,” which included interviews with each designer. Originally published by Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen, this article shows off just some of the contents of this fascinating work.

Until about six months ago, there was only one Munari we idolized: Bruno, one of our favorite 20th-century designers and design theorists. (If you haven’t read Design As Art, we suggest you hop to it!) But then, one fateful day this past spring, we were wandering aimlessly around the internet when we stumbled upon the biggest editorial coup we’ve scored in years, and thus began our love affair with Cleto Munari. The Italian designer—who, as far as we can tell, is unrelated to Bruno—commissioned a dream-team of architects like Ettore Sottsass and Peter Eisenman in the early ’80s to create a jewelry collection for his eponymous company, and the project had almost no coverage anywhere on the web. After immediately snapping up a copy of the incredible out-of-print book that documented it, which we’re excerpting a small portion of here, we set about doing more research on Munari himself. Turns out he’s a bit of a Sight Unseen patron saint, who dreamed up all kinds of cross-disciplinary projects for the precious metals–focused design brand he founded in the ’70s with Carlo Scarpa. “It is most interesting to me to have a poet design a table, a painter design a credenza, and an architect design a spoon,” Munari told the Huffington Post in an interview two years ago.

Austrian Pritzker Prize Laureate Hans Hollein Passes Away

Portrait, 2011.. Image © Alexandra Pawloff

Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein has passed away twenty five days after he celebrated his eightieth birthday. Hollein, particularly known for his museum design, including ’s Haas House (1990) and Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art, was once described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects.”

See a selection of Hollein’s work, from architecture to furniture, jewelry to glasses, to a high-rise in China, after the break…

Happy Birthday Hans Hollein!

Mobiles Büro, aufblasbares Bürogebäude, 1969 . Image © Gino Molin-Pradl

Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein turns 80 today. Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects,” Hollein has worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps — even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to ’s Haas House, Hollein’s work manifests a unique, fascinating take on 1950s Modernism.

Hans Hollein / Peter Weibel [HG. | ED]

If you are a fan of then we have the book for you. Edited by Peter Weibel, this large format book gives you a vivid and detailed look at the 1985 Pritzker Prize recipient’s work. Hollein, an Austrian trained architect, did everything from architecture to design and art. Hollein said, “architects have to stop thinking in terms of buildings only.” The book describes Hollein as the universal artist who “has transposed the machine-based architecture and art of modernity into the era of media-based communication and information technology.” The large photographs featured in this publication make for a great for a coffee table book, and yet the depth and breadth of his work can spur much more interesting conversation than the average coffee table book.

AD Classics: Haas Haus / Hans Hollein

Photo by Matthew Bietz - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbietz/

The modern Hass Haus, designed by , was controversial from its initiation in 1987. The intrusion of a contemporary glass and stone building was met with a resistance, much to do with its location in the shadow of ’s oldest and greatest architectural masterpieces – St. Stephen’s Cathedral. If anything, the building’s locale in St. Stephens Square is most complementary to the antique cathedral; the contours of the church are brilliantly mirrored on the Hass Haus’ façade and display that modern architecture can be momentous, as well as unobtrusive to its historical context.

More on the Hass Haus after the break.