Friday, 20 August 2010

Memphis Design

In 1982 I went to an exhibition in Edinburgh of work by a group of talented designers and architects collectively known as Memphis. 

Vibrant, fun, funky- they turned  design on its head and way out of the 70's . They were the punk generation of interior and product design. The concrete box design that came out after the war and carried into the 70's , partly as a result of the Bauhaus movement was not what these ambitious and talented innovators had in mind. 

I had just moved to Edinburgh having spent a few years in a concrete new town full of roundabouts and clipped grass. I was now living in olde worlde Edinburgh and partying to the very eclectic music scene that existed.  I think  the same year I bought into Memphis I also bought a Charles Rennie Mackintosh poster which is now framed and in my diningroom. I still have my Cab Calloway and PIL albums- we're taking serious ecelecticism.

Ettore Sottsass  was the leading figure of the movement. I remember Nathalie du Pasquier for her amazing patterns in fabrics and carpets.
Lots of cheap materials, playful colours, fun and quirky.
You'd struggle to find anything original on Ebay- it is serious collector material now.

As a one off piece it's beautiful. I think Sottsass himself described the design as like cake, don't have too much of it around

Interesting to me was looking back at early notebooks and seeing how often I used one piece in a design scheme. Forgotten how much I loved it!

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