Memphis – Part 1

January 31, 2012

The New York Times recently described Memphis design as, “Bad boys and two girls fooling around with Postmodernism in the 1980′s”.

We’ve recently come across numerous articles and interesting projects from various sources dating back to the ground-breaking work of Memphis designers and contemporary projects that was inspired by the movement.

The following posts will therefore pay tribute the impact the movement has had on the history of design, and the influence it still has on designers and artists alike.

Memphis was a Milan-based movement of young furniture and product designers led by the veteran Ettore Sottsass. The movement dominated the early 1980 design scene with its unconventional materials, historic forms, kitsch motifs and extravagant colours.

The name ‘Memphis’ was given to the collective at their first meeting. Bob Dylan was playing over Sottsass record player when it repeatedly got stuck at the phrase: ‘With the Memphis Blues again’ (from the track, ‘Stuck inside of Mobile’), and so the movement was dubbed.

“Valentine Typewriter” – by Ettore Sottsass

”Superlamp” – Martine Bedine

”Tahiti lamp”- Ettore Sottsass’ (left), middle unknown, and ”Oceanic” – Michelle de Lucchi (right)