B. 1942, Leeds, UK
George Sowden, an English industrial designer who moved to Milan in 1970, has collaborated with many well-known companies including Olivetti, Alessi, and Bodum. His career has had a lasting impact on the Post-Modern movement through his work with Memphis as a founding member in 1981, as well as his in own still-active studio called SowdenDesign. In 1991, he was awarded with the prestigious ADI Compasso d’Oro for design excellence.
In all of his work, Sowden has made textiles, electronics, home wares, and furniture both warmly tactile and aesthetically pleasing through unconventional materials, vibrant colors, and kitsch motifs. In this, one can immediately perceive his belief that “objects have identity, objects create identity”. Some of Sowden’s most notable designs include D’Antibes (1981), Luxor (1982), Palace (1983), and the Dauphine calculator for Alessi (1997). Sowden feels very strongly that it is imperative to “do the design and the engineering at the same time,” because “to divide them would be artificial”, an approach that is integral to the SowdenDesign studio. In his most recent work, he has turned his attention to collaboration with Chinese porcelain production in Chaozhou, creating the Sowden Range of everyday objects including the innovative SoftBrew coffee maker, teapots, crockery, and cookware.