Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Group Again

Do you like wild and crazy colors? How about non-functional design? Do you like ugliness? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then come celebrate the Memphis Movement with me! A design group that formed in the early 1980’s and founded by Ettore Sottsass, this Milan-based design group attempted to blend various other historical artistic movements which culminated in what some have defined as a combo of “Bauhaus and Fisher-Price.” Someone else’s words, not mine.[1]

When I first looked at some of the designs, it did remind me a lot of Piet Mondrian’s work. But then the colors were so bright. And the designs were so wonky. But you know what I like about this stuff? It’s weird, and it takes guts to make something ugly and have it go straight to a museum. Some of the prints designed by Nathalie du Pasquier are super interesting and geometric. It’s just a lot of once is all: geometry, color, pattern all in one moment: it takes guts. Their work has inspired tons of modern artists and designers not only in its form but to not be afraid to be weird. And different.

Alas, let us not forget that a large part of their design aesthetic and therefore goal was kitsch: I would say they nailed it.

drug
memphis
wow
print
chair
how high the moon
fashion
miss blanche
textile
ug
ettore
1981


[1] Although in my words, I would say they ain’t too far off.

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