Define Seoul 2023

Memphis, Gufram, Marcello Morandini and Greem


1 Nov – 5 Nov 2023

2F, Andy’s 636

36, Seongsuil-ro 6-gil, Seongdong-gu,

Seoul, South Korea

Define Seoul 2023
Memphis, Gufram, Marcello Morandini and Greem


The Memphis Group was an Italian design movement founded by Ettore Sottsass in 1981 alongside Michele de Lucchi, Aldo Cibic, Matteo Thun, Marco Zanini, Martine Bedin, Nathalie Du Pasquier, and George Sowden. Active between 1981 and 1988, the Memphis Group defined ‘80s aesthetic and greatly revolutionised the design world.

Memphis sought to rebel against the ‘uniform panorama of good taste’ of the time, where the principle ‘form follows function’ reigned supreme. With Memphis, design has been liberated from rationality, and enters the realm of poetry. Form no longer had to follow function. Design could be loud, colourful, whimsical, with clashing patterns. Objects were liberated from function and instead became a visual object rather than just a tool or piece of furniture.

The pieces shown by the Memphis Group and their international collaborators were shocking: mixing elegance and kitsch, playing with absurd and irrational shapes, using plastic laminates with patterns that simulate precious materials, but most of all it introduced the pleasure of play into the rational language of industrial production. Love it or hate it, it rapidly amassed public and press attention worldwide, and came to define the aesthetics of the ‘80s. More importantly, it expanded the boundaries of design, emphasising the expressive possibilities of design as a vehicle of communication, rather than just one of utilitarian function.


Gufram is an Interior Design Italia brand globally known for pushing the limits of industrial design. With its Radical Design spirit and its nonconformist experimentation linked to aesthetic, technological, and material research, Gufram has created seats and interior design icons that have entered collective imagination: playful, subversive, and desecrating products with a POP soul, willingly designed as anti-design items.

Gufram was born in Turin as an artisanal entity, where the craftsmen who were specialized in upholstery, cabinet making, and furniture padding met the artistic and international avant-garde with the goal of giving birth to a new way of understanding modern furniture. Since 1966 Gufram has been producing design icons that have become unique in form and value thanks to the cross-pollination between the industrial design approach, the artisanal creation and the imaginative flair typical of Art. Gufram’s unmistakable furniture items like the lips shaped couch Bocca, the chaise lounge Pratone and the hall tree Cactus, are also known as Domestic Sculptures, the contact point between the art and design worlds. They are now displayed in the most beautiful houses and in the most renowned museums in the world including MoMA (New York), The Met (New York), and Centre Pompidou (Paris).

Today Gufram has once again become an important and influential nonconformist voice; with its unconventional approach it gives birth to new style icons also outside the world of Interior Design, thus contaminating all design fields from fashion to automotive to everything related to contemporary aesthetics.

Marcello Morandini

Marcello Morandini’s (b. Mantua, 1940) artistic production began in the early 1960s in a climate of great experimentation and of rupture with tradition and Art Informel. Always maintaining a strong aesthetic and conceptual consistency, Morandini studies and designs geometrical forms. He disassembles and rebuilds them. He moves them within a space delimited by a square. He gives them volume, transforming them in tridimensional sculptures or actual architectures, such as skyscrapers built in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. From his first works, the artist chooses to only use black and white in juxtaposition with each other, and gray in some cases to create depth. Black on white, as in writing and in graphics, makes visual communication more immediate. In the words of the artist, “with black on white you can say everything: music is written black on white, literature too. World knowledge is in black and white.” In fact, Morandini sticks to the essential, to minimal language, he reduces everything to very few elements that work as starting points for infinite plastic and formal evolutions and involutions. His compositions are in a constant variation of the geometries, conceivable in tiny or gigantic dimensions, in a series or as unique pieces, manually or industrially built.


Greem (b. South Korea, 1993) studied Object & Spatial Design at ESAD de Reims in France. After graduating in 2017, She now works as an artist, and designer based in Seoul, Korea. She focuses on creating interactive objects and spaces to please people and to stimulate their curiosity. Jeong Greem transforms silicon tubes, the construction material, into a single drawing-like furniture. The‘Mono’ series, which is composed of rhythmic lines and inspires imaginations, is the product of curiosity about mundane, everyday material. Let’s imagine drawing three-dimensionally on a space when you imagine it as a drawing paper.