Martine Bedin is a French designer born in Bordeaux in 1957. She works in diverse materials such as marble, wood, metal and ceramic.
Bedin was one of the founders of the avant-garde Memphis group in Milan in 1981. Also, she has worked as an architect, industrial designer and professor. Her work is held in many important museums and private collections. Bedin’s aesthetic is typically colourful and self-consciously kitschy.
The Memphis Collective
The Memphis collective was a group of younger avant-garde designers from around the world, including; Andrea Branzi, Alessandro Mendini Martine Bedin and Michele De Lucchi. Their aim was to revive Radical Design and break the rules of the slick minimalism of the 1970s. They created products that featured plastic surfaces, kitsch geometric patterns and bright colours.
Super Lamp 1981
Bedin’s “Super Lamp”—cobalt blue, on wheels—remains the piece for which she’s best known. Like her other work, which is similarly geometric and cartoonish, “Super Lamp” is a whimsical take on high design. It has been described as a stegosaurus on wheels, inspired by the pull toys she loved as a child.
The Cucumber Vase
Martine Bedin designed this unique ceramic vase in 1985. It embodies the distinctive characters of Memphis aesthetic, with its asymmetrical silhouette, vivid colour combination, and striking decorative pattern. Its round shape rests on a black cylindrical base and is cut diagonally at the top, marked with a bright yellow ring. It has Blue curved motifs enliven its white surface. A stunning piece that can also be displayed as-is, as playful sculptural decoration in a contemporary interior.
The Charlotte cabinet is one of the finest pieces of furniture by the brand at that time, made by the best cabinetmakers. A sort of enormous jewellery box, Charlotte is described in the Memphis 1987 catalogue as like a bar/cabinet. It is a complex and beautiful object. It stood on a polished round pillar, offering wooden wings to unfold, boxes to open, trays to pull out and drawers to slide.
The question is, where do you put the alcohol and liqueur? Charlotte is, in fact, a piece of furniture that serves little purpose but commands its presence.
Paris Chair, 1986
The Paris chair is constructed with lacquered stacked laminated birdseye maple, lacquered wood, enamelled steel.
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Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
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Memphis was a movement in interior design introduced at the annual Milan Furniture Fair in 1981. It consisted of a group led by Memphis guru Ettore Sottass of avant-garde Italian designers. With outrageous interpretations of traditional furnishings and accessories, Memphis shocked the traditionally quiet industry.