by Ettore Sottsass
The message that the Carlton bookshelf/foldingscreen has to offer is obvious. It's not about the books but it's about the shelf itself. The colourful design completely carries the thoughts of the Memphisgroup. The furniture is remarkable and self-standing among other furniture. The shelf is a part of the first Memphiscollection. In 1981 this was presented in the showroom of Arc 74 in Milaan. It was almost immediately an icon and one of the most signatory designs of Memphis.
The Carlton is symetric and every shelf had its own colour.
'To me, doing design doesn't mean giving form to a more or less stupid product for a more or less sophisticated industry. Design for me is a way of discussing life, sociality, politics, food- and design (Styles, schools and movements).' according to designer Sottsass. Memphis preached a creative lawlessness, in which a shelf doesn't have to be a shelf and marble doesn't have to be ashamed to be combined with plastic and plywood.
In 2004 Maarten Baas was brave enough to burn a Carlton for his Smokeproject.