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December 18, 2012


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Dennis Zanone

I thought it was odd that Rossi used Memphis for design inspiration so soon after Dior.

t. grace

"Memphis was a reaction to years of rationalism"... my view is that much of the energy behind "memphis" (and related design positions) was a reaction to years of fear. fear that was tied to a increased awareness of post-war marketing... example: more time than i could count, growing up in Houston in the 70's, i saw multicolored shop facades, designed with the exuberance and fearlessness of the 50's, painted over in grey. This was a trend that confused me no end, those facades were not decrepit (although the wash of grey housepaint soon made them look so)...no, the problem was that they took a position...orange, turquoise, yellow...statements of emotional impact, as color always are. Colors influence how we feel. The owners of those countless strip shopping centers, banks, and food stores were afraid that looking "different" in any way had the potential to alienate or disturb some customer. They were afraid. (this was also the exact period when the book "dress for success" was a bestseller, and fixed in the popular culture a very specific, limited range of attire that "successful people" wore to their workplace.) The 70's were a period of fear in popular design, Memphis was a reaction to that. I distinctly recall people laughing at, mocking, color on buildings. "don't stand out, avoid being energetic, or you might alienate a dollar" that was the mantra i heard and saw, before alchymia, memphis, etc.

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