In 1981, the Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, who had just left the Alchymia studio, brought together a group of young architects and designers to shatter the codes of modernity. more
His aura attracted leading designers such as Andrea Branzi, Michael Graves, Shiro Kuramata, Alessandro Mendini and Marco Zanuso. The first Memphis exhibition in Milan in 1981 was a bombshell in the European design landscape, radically renewing the language of form and colour. The group understood the object in terms of its meaning and presence, leaving the field of mere functionality to embrace, with unprecedented freedom, that of visual communication. Thanks to the support of Ernesto Gismondi, the president of Artemide, the eight collections produced by Memphis until 1988 were a resounding success on a worldwide scale, with objects that have become classics, such as Ettore Sottsass’s Carlton bookcase, Michele De Lucchi’s First chair and Martine Bedin’s Super lamp. On the occasion of the exhibition at the madd-bordeaux, this book looks back at the genesis of this movement which put democratic culture back at the heart of design and reintegrated ornament and decoration into its codes with irreverent humour. It reproduces, accompanied by testimonies from its founding members, all the pieces of the collective, that is to say nearly 400 works.