Founded in 1980 by maestro Ettore Sottsass and bringing together the then future icons of contemporary design (Andrea Branzi, Michele De Lucchi and Shiro Kuramata), the Memphis Group never ceases to inspire an entire generation of young designers.
The individual talent of each of its prominent members can be recognised, but it is the “Memphis spirit” as a whole that has overturned the codes of what we call design. Far from being a true movement, the group’s founding idea was rather a reaction to the Bauhaus legacy that dominated at the time around the famous dogma: “the form must serve the function”. An aesthetic stranglehold the maestro deemed too rigid, and a vision of design that was disconnected from the new challenges of society and the big movements on the cultural scene at the time.
Following Pop Art’s example, it had no dogmatic ideology, but a highly permissive and free vision of design.With a unique multi-directional objective, forms, materials, patterns, colours… The result mattered not it was creating a new relationship between objects and the individual, communicating a point of view from emotions, even shocking or flouting function. Supported by many industrialists and the emergence of new materials, the group thus freed itself of the codes at that time to create UFO-like objects strange shapes and not necessarily having an irreproachable functionality, they nevertheless remain symbolic of a non-standard freedom of design. A creative, joyous and uncomplex energy that continues to influence the current generation of designers.
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