Ettore Sottsass, legendary Italian designer founded the Memphis Group in 1980 with other top designers.
The Tahiti lamp is a Sottsass masterpiece and can be considered a symbol of the entire Memphis Collection and its post-modernist style which was so distant from the rationalism of the 1970s. Unconventional materials, historic forms and kitsch motifs are the common features of the work produced by the Memphis Group and the Tahiti lamp epitomizes all these characteristics.
Sottsass and an international group of young architects and designers came together one night drinking and listening to Bob Dylan‘s “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” and gave the group its name. Memphis was launched with a collection of 40 pieces of furniture, ceramics, lighting, glass and textiles which featured fluorescent colours, slick surfaces, intentionally lop-sided shapes and squiggly laminate patterns.
The group’s colourful, ironic pieces were hailed as one of the most characteristic examples of Post-modernism in design and the arts.
Sottsass described Memphis in a 1986 Chicago Tribune article: “Memphis is like a very strong drug. You cannot take too much. I don’t think anyone should put only Memphis around: It’s like eating only cake.