Architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, 1917 - 31st December, 2007
He once said, "When I was young, all we ever heard about was functionalism, functionalism, functionalism. It’s not enough. Design should also be sensual and exciting."
On the 11th of December 1980 Sottsass organised a meeting to form a design collaborative. It would be named Memphis after the Bob Dylan song 'Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again', which had been playing during the evening. The irony that Memphis was not only once the cultural cradle and capital of ancient Egypt, but also the name of Elvis Presley's birthplace was not lost on the group.
Love it or hate it, Memphis helped to set the tone for the 1980s and created a new aesthetic that is still evolving today. A reaction against the slick, black humorless design of the 1970's. The Memphis Group offered bright, colourful, shocking pieces that attempted to revitalise Radical Design and blur the boundaries between high and low culture. The ironic use of mundane materials elevated the pieces into a new art fad. Making Memphis the byword for downtown chic.
Carlton cabinet for Memphis, 1981
Valentine, portable typewriter - Ettore Sottsass, 1969.
In the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
Abat-Jour Table Lamp
Now playing: Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
Now playing: Simply Red - The Death of the Cool
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
Posted by HOBAC at 10:05