In celebration of After Memphis: Crafted Postmodern, HCCC presents an opening day lecture by Cindi Strauss , Curator and Director of Decorative Arts, Craft and Design at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Memphis, the critically acclaimed but financially unsuccessful design collective, was formed in 1981, in Milan, by the architect Ettore Sottsass and a group of internationally renowned architects and designers. Emerging from the conceptual design collective, Studio Alchimia, Memphis aimed to produce furniture, ceramics, lighting, glass, textiles, metalwork, and other products in the postmodern style. Their riotous use of color and pattern, new materials such as laminates, and distinctive forms took the design world by storm during its debut exhibition at the 1981 Milan Furniture Fair. The outsized influence of Memphis on contemporary design and culture was keenly felt in the 1980s. Over the past few years, a new generation of creatives has discovered Memphis, referencing its key characteristics in their work. This lecture will discuss the history of the collective, introduce its designers and works, and discuss the renewed interest in Memphis, providing context to After Memphis: Crafted Postmodern.