Ettore Sottsass was an Italian architect who established the Memphis design group in 1981 in Milan. The Memphis design group rejected traditional approaches to design and challenged ideas of what was popular or in style at the time. They created furniture and other everyday objects that used unusual forms and shapes in their structure and functionality. Geometric forms and prints, block pop-art colours, use of laminate and a feeling of fun and quirkiness were typically found in the designs. Memphis soon developed a global cult following, and celebrities such as fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and musician David Bowie acquired hundreds of pieces for their own collections.
Look at the related works and use the following discussion prompts to explore use of geometric shapes and colour with your class:
Students design and construct their own furniture piece inspired by the Memphis design group in the following steps:
Students can show their design to the class and display them on shelves or other surfaces.