Flashy colours and zigzag patterns, unusual combinations of materials and abundant decor. Founded in Milan in 1980, the Memphis design group created furniture, lighting, ceramics and drawings that went against industrial standards and the rules of functionalism that were popular at the time. The founder of the group was the Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass who launched the group in December 1980 together with Michele de Lucchi, Barbara Radice, Matteo Thun and others.
The extraordinary diversity and individuality of the Memphis Group’s designs were to be understood as a deliberate, yet fun provocation against the prevailing design standards. Memphis celebrated artistic spontaneity. Their products have an almost sculptural character and rather look like artworks, yet they were designed to be produced and sold as functional furniture items. The Memphis Group combined disparate elements such as laminate, colourful light bulbs and chrome into lively combinations of kitsch and elegance.