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The Unserious Book of Memphis Design

Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping the bizarre and often misunderstood Mephis Design design and architecture movement, which is emerging as a strong interiors trend for 2015.

Founded by Etore Sottsass in 1981, the Memphis Group was a Milan-based collective of young furniture and product designers, who dominated the early 1980s design scene with their post-modernist style. A total rule-breaker, the Memphis movement was characterised by its fun geometric patterns and colourful plastic laminates, which at the time, were influenced by pop art and art deco design.

Within the design world, Memphis was a watershed. According to Bill Moggridge, co-founder of the IDEO industrial design group, “You were either for it, or against it. “All the boring old designers hated it. The rest of us loved it.”

After its debut at the world-renowned Salone del Mobile furniture fair in 1981, the Memphis Group produced and exhibited furniture and design objects such as fabrics, ceramics, glass and metalware, annually until 1988. The group was led by their veteran Ettore Sottsass and also included one of the founding members, Nathalie du Pasquier.



‘Don’t Take These Drawings Seriously’ is the first and definitive compilation of all the unpublished drawings which have been sitting in the drawers of Nathalie’s studio for over 30 years. This beautiful book is full of the fun and quirkiness you would expect from a Memphis designer, organised by the smallest of objects to the biggest and divided into chapters, each with a summary by Nathalie. The book has also been carefully designed and edited by Apartamento Magazine’s co-founder Omar Sosa together with Nathalie Du Pasquier.

A selection of Nathalie du Pasquier’s artwork. Above image courtesy of Trendland.

Natalie du Pasquier’s own website is a treasure trove of information where you can learn more about her life and works.

Nathalie Du Pasquier was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1957, and has lived in Milan since 1979. Until 1986, she worked as a designer within the Memphis Group, for which she designed many of the textiles, carpets, furniture and design objects. When the group disbanded in 1987, painting became her main activity.

Pictured above is the book ‘Don’t Take These Drawings Seriously’ by Nathalie Du Pasquier. Buy it now powerHouse Books.