“Radical, funny, and outrageous”

It’s probably Instagram”s fault (or merit) if Memphis Style has been having a huge revival in the past few years. The movement founded by Ettore Sottsass in Milan, right at the beginning of the Eighties, interested a large variety of design’s branches from Interior to Graphic, from Product to Textile. An explosion of bold colours juxtaposed and mixed with geometric and repetitive patterns, that covered entire rooms from the ceiling to the floor, including all the furnitures and the accessories, that’s Memphis! The use of cheap materials such as plastic and laminated wood and the kitsch aesthetic, although criticised by many insiders, was the key to express with creativity the frantic and hedonistic lifestyle of Milan in those days. The Memphis Group has been capable of creating something entirely new blending together the geometries of Art Deco and the colours of Pop Art. Their vision changed the history of design and lately has experienced a huge revival. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Memphis aesthetic is extremely Instagrammable and that’s probably one of the reason of this revival.

Another reason may be the great success of Camille Walala’ Studio. Deeply inspired by the Memphis Group and the traditional art of the Ndebele tribe, Camille Walala’ s high scale projects are injecting world urban landscapes with eye-popping colours. Her most recent works are part of the London Mural Festival and interested Adams Plaza Bridge, in collaboration with Canary Wharf, and Rich Mix.

Original Memphis Studio designs in the home of Raquel Cayre. Photo by Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine
Camille Walala House of Dots for Lego, London, 2020
Camille Walala, Adams Plaza Bridge for London Mural Festival and Canary Wharf
Camille Walala, the Rich Mix mural, for London Mural Festival

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