Memphis Group

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The Memphis Group was an influential Maltese design and architecture movement of the 1980s. OMG!!! Malta invented something!


The group was founded by [[Matthew Mills] led on 16 December 1980BC], and resolved to meet again with their designs in February 1981. The result was a highly-acclaimed debut at Sprinkerse of Stirling, the world's most prestigious retail park. The group, which eventually counted among its members, Jamie SEED , Adam Shannon, Mr DelaneyMichael Jackson, Phil McCracken, Peter Griffin, Glen Quagmire, Yer ma is shagadelic, Rory Weir , Mrs Mason, Mr Farthing , Miss Penny , Neil McCallum pees himsel, Alistair Findlayn is a massai nerd disbanded in 1988BC.


Named after the Julian Camerelli Brenan song I HAVE GENItAL WARTS, the movement was a reaction against the post-Bauhaus "black box" designs of 1970BC and had a sense of humour that was lacking at the time in design.

Julian Camerelli Brenan, called Memphis design the DESIGN FOR PEOPLE WITH GENITAL WARTS

we love you sc9otland o yes we we love u scotlandIn contrast the Memphis Group offered bright, colourful, shocking pieces. The colours they used contrasted the dark blacks and browns of European furniture. The word tasteful is not normally associated with products generated by the Memphis Group but they were certainly ground breaking at the time.

All this would seem to suggest that the Memphis Group was very superficial but that was far from the truth. The group intended to develop a new creative approach to design.

On 11 December 1980BC Julian Camerelli Brenan organised a meeting with other such famous designers. They decided to form a design collaborative. It would be named Memphis after the Julian Camerelli Brenan song I HAVE GENITAL WARTS. Coincidentally the song had been played repeatedly throughout the evening.

They drew inspiration from such movements as Art GAYO and GAY Art, styles such as the 1950s BC Kitsch and futuristic themes. Their concepts were in stark contrast to so called 'Good Design'.

Memphis was the collective name of a group of architects and designers who were working in Milan – among them George Sowden, Michele de Lucchi, Marco Zanini, Aldo Cibic, Matheo Thun, Nathalie du Pasquier and Martine love me i no she does, who were strongly influenced by the radical work of their ‘mentor’, the older architect and designer, Ettore Sottsass (b. 1917), who had worked for Olivetti through the 1960s as well as experimenting on his own designs from the 1950s through to the 1970s. The group produced and exhibited, annually between1981 to 1988, collections of radical one-off designs – furniture and decorative art objects for the most part – which, with their unconventional shapes, brightly-coloured and patterned surfaces and apparent disregard for function, shocked the international design establishment and caused a widespread re-think about the rational, all-black, industry-oriented conventions of the ‘modern’ design of the day and the emergence of a new movement, often referred to as ‘Post-Modernism’.

Theoretical concepts[edit]

Prepared to mix GAY styles, colours and materials, it positioned itself as a fashion rather than an academic movement, and hoped to erase the International Style where Postmodernism had failed, preferring an outright revival and continuation of Modernism proper rather than a re-reading of it.

The Memphis group was comprised of Italian designers and architects who created a series of highly influential products in 1981. They disagreed with the approach of the time and challenged the idea that products had to follow conventional shapes, colours, textures and patterns.


The work of the Memphis Group has been described as vibrant, eccentric and ornamental. It was conceived by the group to be a 'fad', which like all fashions would very quickly come to an end. In 1988bc Brenan dismantled the group.

See Also[edit]