It’s like a Mondrian artwork exploded, freeing the primary colors and staining furniture, walls and rugs.
The onset of the Memphis decoration and furniture designmovement came about in 1981, when Italian, Japanese and U.S. designers joined forces to create a style distanced from the rigorous inflexible line of modern design: the pure, minimalist forms that responded to function, without superfluous nor decorative parts. They wanted color to fill up the spaces again, not the everlasting white.
One of the designers of this movement commented that if a chair needed 4 legs to stand on, there was nothing to prevent it from having each leg designed and painted differently from each another.
Memphis filled furniture, curtain and clothing prints and patterns with its flashy, repetitive, geometrical designs and pastel colors. It’s almost certain we all had at least one shirt or dress with these designs around that decade. The furniture design was relaxed, with uncomfortable corners that worked only in the imagination of the designer; the Memphis never made it into an architectural movement, not like Art Deco which left so many beautiful buildings around the world.
Nowadays, it’s been said there has been a revival of this movement in current decoration, but either way, it already had its heyday; it was an outburst that lasted 5 years which signaled the beginning of the brazen 80s in the past century.