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What's All the Fuss About Memphis Design?

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Briefly forgotten, but by no means gone, Memphis—the 1980s phenomenon that shook the design world to its foundations—is creeping back into the mainstream. At this year's Salone del Mobile, signs of its re-emergence were widespread. Original Memphis, which peaked from 1981 to 1987, illustrates the hallmarks of postmodern '80s design: strong geometric motifs, mixed materials often including laminate, clashing and saturated colors, and a repudiation of anything streamlined and tasteful—a veritable "shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price."

From young designers issuing riffs on Memphis furniture to the reissued 1980s classics themselves, here's what we saw in Milan (also known as the city that gave birth to the movement).

Spot the Memphis >>