Memphis Milano: new life for a design mecca

The Italian Radical Design group has opened the Memphis Milano Galleria: a historic space reinvented with a visionary spirit to narrate a formidable chapter in the history of Italian design

Memphis Milano Galleria
Memphis Milano Galleria

After becoming part of Italian Radical Design, the new group founded by Sandra and Charley Vezza, Memphis Milano reopens its space in Brera, Post Design Gallery, under the name Memphis Milano Galleria.

In the 1980s Memphis Milano represented a fundamental chapter in the evolution of design. Guided by Ettore Sottsass, with Michele De Lucchi, Aldo Cibic, Matteo Thun and others, the experience began as a manifesto to break away from the minimalist trends of the time, and was soon transformed into a producer of furnishings with bold lines and bright colors, referencing Pop Art, Fifties kitsch and futuristic themes.

With a new name and a new look, offering full immersion in the aesthetic codes created by Sottsass and his crew, Memphis Milano Galleria preserves the original objective of capturing and documenting transformations of taste and aesthetics, drawing on the cultural legacy and historical archive of the original company.

Indispensable items include the Carlton bookcase by Ettore Sottsass, an icon seen at the entrance, announcing an incredible collection of furniture, objects, accessories and lighting created by the movement and scattered through six large rooms: all in the ‘Memphis style.’

The goal of Italian Radical Design is to bring out the value of Italian design brands marked by a non-conformist approach, such as that of Memphis Milano. “After 10 years with Gufram, which we acquired in 2012, we have decided to explore new worlds, focusing on a project whose aim is to revitalize historic Italian design labels that share a radical, non-conformist vision,” says Charley Vezza, CEO of Italian Radical Design. “Italian Radical Design comes from the intention to identify brands with affinities to our way of thinking about design, as in the case of Gufram, to create a synergic system of value and revitalization.”

All photos © Riccardo Gasperoni