MEMPHIS STYLE IS BACK

Milano Design Week 2015

THE VICTORY OF COLOURS AND DECORATION

As highlighted at the 2015 Salone del Mobile, curiously enough one of the biggest trends currently shaping the new panorama of design and lifestyle is a new-found interest in the great designers of the past, with revivals and revisitations of the works of those that are no longer with us, like Ettore Sottsass, as well as great masters such as Alessandro Mendini and Mario Bellini.

Launched in Italy, in the 1980s the movement became one of the biggest protagonists of the postmodern scene thanks to audacious projects inspired by past and contemporary design. Its distinctive features included the use of vibrant colours and geometric forms, with a canny nod to 1950s kitsch. Inspiration was also taken from movements such as art deco, pop art and futurism, as well as the pop culture of the time. Its founder, Ettore Sottsass, collaborated with many furniture and ceramics manufacturers. Many of the objects created were covered in plastic laminate, a material regarded as ‘poor’ and specifically chosen for its “lack of traditional culture”. The glass was very used. Everything was combined to generate optimism, the works were deliberately “non-intellectual”, celebrating, rather, a concept of “normality”.

The relaunch of the Memphis style is also the victory of colours and decoration. Or rather combining colours, textures and asymmetries with colour rules that have been eliminated by the pure taste of creativity, taken to the permitted limit of good taste. It is also a sign of a return to the playful side of design, which had disappeared in recent years. Another incentive to compose, through mosaic, decorations and patterns distinctive for their colours, but not only, to give living spaces their own particular personality.