Italian design movement and interior design style

The Memphis Movement

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The Memphis Movement is an Italian design movement originated in the 1980’s by Ettore Sottsass. The movement was like a statement protest movement against the neutral, understated and functional modernism that preceded them. It defines the very basic designs elements of form and function and was successful to evoke emotions among the masses. Though the response was much more varied with positive and negative replies, Memphis style is coming into the limelight nowadays and appreciated by the people.

Though conceived as ugly and impractical by many eminent people, the rebellious spirit of this movement remains strong in our hearts.

Now let’s take a dig on how this design style actually looks like!

How to know if it is Memphis Design or not?

Memphis Style of Design and its presence in Interior Architecture has some eminent and dominant features. Geometrical shapes, flat bold colors, squiggles, abstract graphic patterns and use of terrazzo and laminates as a material are the key ingredients to a good Memphis design.


Terrazzo as a material is usually used for flooring, and was also incorporated in table tops and decor items in this style of design.

Flat Bold Colors

Flat bold colors is the most dominant feature of Memphis style of Design. Contrasting palettes of colors is used to create a sense of drama in its design. Although such colors were originally used in Memphis Design in the 80’s, currently soft and mellow shades of these colors are used nowadays.


Squiggles, which is also known as the Bacterio print, was developed by Sottsass in 1978. A squiggle is a short line that curls and loops in an irregular way. Squiggles are considered as a signature feature of Memphis design.

Geometrical Shapes

Chunky, irregular geometrical shapes is a characteristic feature of Memphis design. Typical shapes like square and triangle are rejected by Memphis style and asymmetry has been much appreciated in its approach.

Graphical Patterns

Abstract graphical patterns have been widely used for wall finishes in Memphis design. Such graphics mainly comprise as a mix of organic and inorganic shapes painted with flat bold colors. You will seldom find symmetry in its approach and takes a wide range of forms in its approach.

Products Inspired by the Memphis Movement

Furniture, Upholstery, Cutlery, Home Decor items, Wall Finishes, Lifestyle Accessories, this style of design has left its mark in a wide range of products and is being much appreciated by people nowadays, especially among teenagers.

If you have a thing for bright and bold colors and patterns, then there is good news for you as this style of design is very much in vogue.


2 thoughts on - The Memphis Movement

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