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BMW + Garage Italia Customs Pay Homage to the Memphis Group From 1980s

Two unique cars have been presented today by BMWi and garageItaliana customs to celebrate the Memphis design group in the ‘unicredit pavilion‘, Milan, created by Italia architect Michele de Lucchi. with the exclusive ‘memphisstyle’ interior and exterior designs on the BMW’s ‘i3′ + ‘i8′, Lapo Ekann’s creative team pays homage to the visionary style of the artistic and cultural movement that revolutionized the world of design in the 1980s.

Founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass, the Memphis group was the antithesis to functionalism and any commercial logic. it gave rise to daring lines in furniture that was characterised by unusual materials and original graphic patterns. the style was clearly provocative and was inspired by movements like art deco and its surprising geometrical shapes, pop art with its bright colours and kitsch as a way to detach from the minimalist design of the 70s.


 Adriann Van Hooydonk, senior vice president of BMW group design comments, ‘during the nineteen-eighties, the Memphis group questioned the formal severity and classic functionality of design artifacts both in a somewhat provocative and humorous manner. In this way, Memphis became a symbol of contemporary design. With its design drafts, the group challenged existing dogmas, aroused emotions and created designs with high recognition value.’

Oblique, horizontal, and vertical lines along with hypnotic patterns and vibrant colours characterize of the new liveries created by garage Italia customs. A succession of sharp surface contrasts that become a pure expression of rebellion and liberation from the rigid standards of traditional design. A noteworthy feature is that every single element is aligned and the geometrical shapes flawlessly follow the curves of the bodywork of the two cars. the realization required over five weeks of work. before the various painting phases, different masking was applied to each car in order to create the patterns. There are as many as eight layers of colour on the body which proves the complexity of the entire process.


Both interiors express the same break-through and experimenting philosophy typical of the memphis design. the different luxurious materials chosen for the upholstery (Alcantara and Foglizzo leather) are in strong contrasting chromatic matches. Bright colours, from green and yellow, to orange and purple, are the main features alongside the tailored graphic patterns. Every detail of the cabin becomes an integral part of the artistic language that stirred the 80s and influenced design and decor over the following years.











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