Quote of Note | Peter Shire

A sofa designed by Peter Shire. (Photo: Peter Shire)

“I keep thinking about sofas. They’re weird, right? You can get into a sociological conversation about the value of furniture and the way it has evolved over the last 500 years. Once, nobody had furniture unless they were wealthy. Castles had thrones, and the rank and file sat on benches. It was a social signifier. Now you see sofas thrown out on the street. In ceramics, we have kiln furniture to set your ware; in printing, they have furniture that holds the type into a matrix. That’s kind of what we’re talking about: objects that we piece together like a puzzle to hold our perceptions in the matrix. In a house, that can range from the way we move around to the things in it that cause social interaction. Many people would say of Memphis, which was so extreme, ‘I can’t imagine living with a house full of that!’ But you’re not meant to live with a whole house of it, unless you’re Karl Lagerfeld. So I’ve been thinking about what I’ve done, what it means within the world, and what its value is.”

-Artist and designer Peter Shire, an original member of the Milan-based Memphis group, in an interview with Jill Singer for Surface magazine