Superficial aspects, the unnecessary, can be extremely important. This is not decadence; on the contrary, it is a high level of sophistication concerning our relationship with the things around us.
Michele de Lucchi
Champion 100 celebrates the collecting philosophy of George Champion. With more than 25 years in the field, Champion has cultivated a reputation for assembling works across a broad range of styles and movements. He explains: “I collect what I like—as long as it’s good design.”
From the very beginning, George was focused on finding the best examples of any given design. His father, who worked in manufacturing and industrial design, instilled in George a robust appreciation for precision, quality and innovation at an early age.
His first foray into the world of collecting was with Shaker furniture. Drawn to the clean, unadorned lines and practicality of Shaker style, it was only natural that George soon transitioned to collecting midcentury modern works, endeavoring to find the most original or iconic representations of a form be it Mies van der Rohe’s white leather Barcelona chairs for Knoll or 50th Anniversary, rosewood LCWs by Charles and Ray Eames.
His passion for design extends well beyond the historical to the contemporary, rare and unusual. Since the 1980s, George has traveled each year to Milan to attend the Salone de Mobile and satellite fairs to view present day design innovations. He fervently follows the production of Cappellini because he believes Giulio Cappellini has been the most receptive to providing opportunities to new, up-and-coming designers. It is from the Cappellini Showroom in New York, "where the company sends its best stuff", that George has acquired many original and exceptional designs including Oki Sato’s (nendo) Tent desk.
Finally, George is also interested in the designers themselves and he has met many of the designers whose works he collects. From asking Ettore Sottsass, Keith Haring, or Philippe Starck to sign works within his collection, to purchasing works from Gaetano Pesce directly, George is wholly invested in the world of design. Design is his passion, his interest and his livelihood.
Champion 100 is the first in a series of auctions in which Wright collaborates with a collector to present a curated selection of 100 works from their personal collection highlighting their design philosophy. George Champion is a collector and dealer located in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Michele de Lucchi b. 1951
Italian architect and designer Michele de Lucchi was born in Ferrara in 1951. He studied in Padua and Florence founding the radical “Gruppe Cavart” for experimental architectural design. After meeting Ettore Sottsass, he was invited to join Studio Alchimia in Milan and was also involved with the Memphis Group design movement. In 1975, de Lucchi graduated in Architecture from the Florence University then taught for two years as an academic assistant.
De Lucchi’s expansive range of design projects includes furniture, interior design, lighting, and architecture. He has designed for European companies such as Artemide, Alias, Unifor, Hermès and Alessi. From 1992 to 2002 he was Director of Design for Olivetti developing experimental projects for Philips, Siemens, Compaq Computers, and Vitra. In 1998 he founded the architectural studio aMDL, opening offices in Milan and Rome, and designed corporate work spaces for Deutcsche Bank and UniCredit. His wide range of architectural projects includes the Expo 2015 pavilions for the City of Milan and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia.
A widely respected educator, he was appointed to be Professor of the Design and Art Faculty at the University of Venice in 2001, Professor at the Design Faculty of the Politecnico of Milan in 2008, and awarded an honorary doctorate from Kingston University in 2006. His work is included in the collections of the Neues Museum Berlin, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Triennale di Milano.
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