Korea’s design magazine Design Jungle interviewed Mario Gagliardi about the history and reasons behind the resurgence of eighties design.
“To understand the design of the eighties, you have to understand what led to it. The sixties brought the revolution of 68, the design of the seventies embraced this new freedom, and the eighties combined it with commerce and globalization. In between revolutionary thought and commercialization, the Italian design groups Alchimia and Memphis stood for two opposing, yet complimentary poles: Alchimia, led by my former teacher Alessandro Mendini, for a philosophical and poetic design idea. Memphis, spearheaded by Ettore Sottsass, for embracing pop culture and commercialization. What connected them was the conviction that design is a force for good. Hence Mendini and Sottsass, despite their ideological differences, were friends, and both had been friends of Achille Castiglioni, the design master of the the fifties and sixties. The golden age of Italian design, conventionally counted between the fifties and the eighties, really lasted much beyond the nineties; It just was not only Italian design anymore, it became global. The eighties are rediscovered now because we long for it: it was a time of tremendous freedom, chances, and optimism.”
Find the article (in Korean) at https://www.jungle.co.kr/magazine/202687