Two unique cars have been unveiled by BMW i and Garage Italia Customs to celebrate the work of Memphis Design Group. With the exclusive BMW i MemphisStyle interior and exterior Design on the BMW i3 and the BMW i8, Lapo Elkann’s creative hub payed hommage to the visionary style of the artistic and cultural movement that revolutionised the world of design in the 1980s.
Founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass, the Memphis Group was an absolute 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 with its surprising geometrical shapes, Pop Art with its bright colours and Kitsch as a way to detach from the minimalist design of the 70s.
Oblique, horizontal and vertical lines along with hypnotic patterns and vibrant colours are the main characteristics of the new liveries created by Garage Italia Customs. A succession of sharp surface contrasts that become pure expression of rebellion and liberation from the rigid standards of traditional design. What catches the eye is that every single element is perfectly aligned and the geometrical shapes flawlessly follow the curves of the bodywork of the two cars. The realisation was extremely meticulous and it 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 materials chosen for the upholstery are in strong contrasting chromatic matches. Bright colours, from orange to purple, green and yellow are the main features along with the tailored graphic patterns. Every single element of the cabin thus becomes an integral part of the artistic language that stirred the 80s and influenced design and decor over the following years.