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The origin of the 80s aesthetic

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 03, 2017

A little-known Italian design & architecture group called the Memphis Group was responsible for the dominant aesthetic of the 80s.

Memphis Design movement dominated the ’80s with their crazy patterns and vibrant colors. Many designers and architects from all around the world contributed to the movement in order to escape from the strict rules of modernism. Although their designs didn’t end up in people’s homes, they inspired many designers working in different mediums. After their first show in Milan in 1981, everything from fashion to music videos became influenced by their visual vocabulary.

Or were they? What’s interesting, in terms of the timeline of influence, is that MTV debuted before that September 1981 show in Milan. Here’s the first MTV broadcast in August 1981, featuring the brightly colored logo: