Has it ever crossed your mind that you may have been born in the wrong decade? Maybe it’s those incredible cars from the ’50s, the groovy clothes of the ’60s, or the dramatic minimalism of the ‘70s? Whatever the case, there’s just something about a past aesthetic that still calls to you… Design reflects the vibe and spirit of a particular time; thus, our feelings and moods are inherently influenced by the spaces we create.
One of the most imaginative design drives of the 1980s was the Memphis Design movement. A name that seems to hearken back to the hills of Tennessee, the Memphis Group was actually founded in 1981 by a team of designers and architects in Milan, Italy. The movement’s name was derived from a Bob Dylan tune—Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again—that repeatedly played during their meeting. While the name may be misleading, what isn’t confusing are the feelings these works inspire. Exuberant colors and a charmingly surprising use of shapes create a bright, fun, happy aesthetic influenced by the geometrics of art deco and the eye-popping color of pop art.
The epitome of avant-garde for its day, Memphis Design works were popular with style icons and trendsetters—from Karl Lagerfeld to David Bowie—and remain as eye-catching today as they did on the floors of the 1981 Salone del Mobile. Post-modern in a time when post-modernity was really cool, this outside-the-box design still possesses a visual coherence that has aged well, unlike some of its wackier 90’s successors.
These bold, outrageous elements from iconic 1980’s designs have been channeled into the new Walker Zanger Kaleidoscope collection. Inspired by the Memphis Design movement’s penchant for using unique shapes and vibrant colors, the Kaleidoscope collection features a selection of triangular and square porcelain tiles available in a diverting variety of timeless, yet increasingly on-trend pastel colors. You can mix and match matte pinks, mint greens, and blue-grays with glossy white tiles to create unique geometric patterns or asymmetrical compositions. The tiles are finished with a subtle rolled edge and a slightly rustic surface, giving the resulting installation a “handcrafted” feel.
Imagine using Kaleidoscope tiles to brighten up a kitchen backsplash, to animate a boring bathroom with unique flair, or to create custom ceramic artwork that serves as a showpiece for your living room. Designing with Kaleidoscope gives you total freedom to harness the colors and vitality from one of the 1980’s most creative design movements in your own personal way.