Memphis - Plastic Field / ISBN 9782376660279 / 192-page paperback with wrapper, 8.75 x 11.75 inches, illustrated throughout / Published by Editions Norma / Text in English and French / accompanies an exhibition at the Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design de Bordeaux (MADD-Bordeaux)
•Furniture and objects by the Memphis collective have recently come back into vogue
•Their original designs are being manufactured and sold around the world and their love of bright color, squiggly patterns, and laminate has influenced a new generation of designers
•Includes hundreds of images of Memphis-designed pieces, nearly the entire output of the collective between 1981 and 1988
During the 1980s, the Memphis group, founded by Ettore Sottsass, revolutionized the European design scene, radically reinventing the language of form and color and challenging the status quo of functionalist design. Memphis was preceded in 1976 by the Milan-based avant-garde collective, Studio Alchimia. Sottsass, who designed for Studio Alchimia, left to form Memphis in 1981 and would ultimately attract leading designers such as Andrea Branzi, Michael Graves, Shiro Kuramata, Alessandro Mendini, Marco Zanuso and Nathalie Du Pasquier to the movement. They rejected the austerity of mid-century modernists like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier and approached the object with an unfettered, often irreverent, visual vocabulary and an exuberant sense of play applied to shape, material, and pattern.
This book, the catalogue for a show at MADD-Bordeaux, looks at the genesis of the Memphis collective and the furniture, household objects, glassware, lighting, ceramics, and textiles they designed. It reproduces nearly all the pieces they produced between 1981 and 1988, around 400 works, and includes first-hand accounts by some of its founding members.