Five Things Peter Shire Wishes He’d Made

Credit…© Nathalie du Pasquier. Courtesy of Pace Gallery. Photo: Damian Griffiths

Painted Walls for Exhibition Designs by Nathalie du Pasquier

“Nathalie, Javier Mariscal and I are some of the only non-architects of the Memphis Group [the design movement founded by the Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and others in Milan in 1980], and I’m astounded and delighted by the degree to which she’s managed to go off into the fine art realm. She does these walls with color-blocked borders for her exhibits [the one above is from 2017], and I’m so upset because they’re so good.”

Credit…Courtesy of Cassina

Superleggera Chair (1957) by Gio Ponti

“I’m just not able to do something straight-up functional. Who doesn’t want to be what they’re not?”

Credit…Courtesy of the Piaggio Group

Vespa (1946)

“The Vespa is a romantic object and a freedom object. People smile when they see them. Motorcycles, people don’t smile. The Vespa is a rolling smile: an idea of getting along.”

Credit…Courtesy of the Museo Casa Mollino

Erotic Polaroids (circa 1962-73) by Carlo Mollino

“Mollino was this wild Italian playboy designer who made cars, ski chalets and airplanes. The Polaroids didn’t come to light until after he died. In his house in Turin, he had these kind of cornball interiors with swag drapes, and he posed women in them. I’ve asked women to model nude, and they just think I’m out of my head.”

Credit…The Monotype Corporation Ltd., London, reproduced with permission from Letterform Archive

Perpetua Titling Font (1931) by Eric Gill

“God, I love this. Gill was a stonecutter and engraver, and the original letterforms were carved in stone, not drawn or inked. It creates a tension in them that you can’t get otherwise.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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