A Ritual Whisper': The Memphis Group's Cultural Revolution

  • Lorynn Divita (Baylor University)


The Memphis group was a collective of approximately 25 Post-Modern architects, furniture designers, industrial designers, and graphic designers that was founded by Ettore Sottsass and Michele de Lucchi in Milan in 1981. The group embraced bright colors, geometric and asymmetrical shapes, marble, waves, and zig-zag patterns, and unusual materials including plastic laminate, aluminum, fiberglass and sheet metal. Although many critics did not appreciate Memphis in its time, today it has been regularly likened to Punk rock for how it shook up the design world in the same manner that Punk shook up the music world. Although Sottsass left Memphis in 1985, and the group officially disbanded in 1988, the Memphis group aesthetic has continued to hold favor with many influential artists and fashion designers such as J.W. Anderson, Angela Missoni, Miuccia Prada, Karl Lagerfeld, Nicholas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton, Peter Pilotto, Donatella Versace, Sergio Rossi and Phoebe Philo.

How to Cite:

Divita, L., (2017) “A Ritual Whisper': The Memphis Group's Cultural Revolution”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 74(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2017
Peer Reviewed