May 21, 2015
Was the uber-influential 1980s design collective Memphis named after a Bob Dylan song, the capital of ancient Egypt, or the birthplace of Elvis Presley? The first answer is correct, but Memphis founder Ettore Sottsass would have loved the question: Memphis was a deliberate mash-up of high- and low-culture references, expensive and cheap materials, functionality and playfulness.
Sottsass was in his sixties when he gathered a bunch of European twenty-somethings to launch Memphis during the 1981 Milan Furniture Fair. Their provocative, zany offerings, including Sottsass’s Carlton Cabinet, attracted immediate media endorsement, and Memphis was star material right off the bat.
It is wonderful to see this movement having another moment in 2015. The color palette may have slightly softened to speak to today’s color palette but the feeling, context and the design elements are enduring.
Please take a moment to click the link to see how the Memphis movement looks today.
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