The iconic and statuesque presence of the Carlton bookshop marks the opening of the exhibition "Memphis. The color of objects", curated by Stefano Caggiano, Programme Leader of the Product Design area, at Istituto Marangoni Milano Design. Inaugurated during the days of Milano Design City and open until October 10, the tribute exhibition does not offer a retrospective on the movement founded by Ettore Sottsass, but is an opportunity to discover the influence and legacy of the Group among the youngest generations of designers through the reinterpretation developed by Marangoni's students during the last academic year.
"The collaboration with the Memphis Milano brand was a great opportunity for Istituto Marangoni Milano Design, in the fortieth anniversary of the birth of the Memphis Group, to offer our students the opportunity to come into direct contact with a piece of the history of design and rethink its evolution in line with the languages of our time," says Sergio Nava, Director of Education at Istituto Marangoni Milano Design. Starting with specific briefs for Visual Design courses, Surface & Textile Design and Product & Furniture Design Masters, the young designers have reinterpreted the conceptual and iconographic heritage of the group with their own eyes and sensitivity.
The results of this research have given rise to a selection of works that include some proposals for restyling the visual identity of Memphis - in turn applied to the three collections Memphis Milano, Meta Memphis and Post Design - along with new patterns for surfaces, upholstery and fabrics, up to a series of abat-jour lamps that reinterpret with new materials and new decorative approaches the relationships between polygons and lines that have defined the aesthetics of Memphis. The echo between the explicit rupture celebrated since the 1980s and the present, with its graft between the speed of digital and the urgency of global challenges, outlines particularly evocative conjunctions and short circuits according to the vision of the curator Stefano Caggiano. "Today, the major issues related to environmental and social sustainability place design in a situation similar to that of the early 1980s," says Caggiano. "Today as then, the project responds through a neo-primitive, at times metaphysical geometrism, which on the one hand carries on the legacy of Memphis, on the other hand arrives at an unstable aesthetics perfectly in line with the visual codes of social media".
Alongside the new elaborations, a chronological reconstruction of the evolution of the Movement and a selection of historical pieces contribute to bring the identity of Memphis into focus: a possibility of dissemination that addresses not only the general public, but also the many foreign students who attend Istituto Marangoni Milano Design, together with the other headquarters in five other countries around the world. "Memphis. The color of objects" wants to emphasize the design knowledge acquired by the students within the school, consolidating the culture of design through the discovery of this Movement", says Massimo Zanatta, School Director of Istituto Marangoni Milano Design. "Far from being a copy, their work brings into play the skills acquired from a technical and cultural point of view and makes the products already developed by Memphis visible in an exhibition that I hope to present in other parts of the world, so as to offer an important opportunity to spread the culture of Made in Italy".