Skip to main content

Post Modern Designs

Price
Shipping Options
Sort By
Jan Roth Metropolight Lamp for Design M / Ingo Maurer, Germany, circa 1970
By Design M
Located in London, GB
Jan Roth is an experimental lighting designer who studied Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art in the late 6os. His Metropolight design caught the eye of Ingo Maurer who dec...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Post-Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Polystyrene

Gary Gutterman Stainless Steel Dining Table and Chair Set, Axius Designs, 1970
By Gary Gutterman
Located in Chicago, IL
Stainless steel dining set designed by Gary Gutterman for Axius Designs in 1970s. Set includes glass top dining table and 8 chairs. All original and in very condition.
Category

Vintage 1970s American Post-Modern Dining Room Sets

Materials

Stainless Steel

Italy Post-Modern Design Black Wooden Chair
Located in Brescia, IT
This is an Italian design chair and we can find the style of the well known "Superleggera" by Gio Ponti. A very elegant chair to enhance a corner of the house. In good condition,...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Post-Modern Chairs

Materials

Wood

  • Italy Post-Modern Design Black Wooden Chair
  • Italy Post-Modern Design Black Wooden Chair
  • Italy Post-Modern Design Black Wooden Chair
  • Italy Post-Modern Design Black Wooden Chair
H 33.47 in. W 15.75 in. D 18.51 in.
1980s Italian Table Lamp by VeArt with Murano Glass Shade in Post Modern Design
By VeArt
Located in München, DE
Very rare 1980s Italian table lamp by VeArt with a Murano glass shade. Great minimalistic Post Modern design, handcrafted. The white shade and the blue knobs on the side are made o...
Category

Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

1980 Post Modern Italian Design Bull in Turquoise Enameled Ceramic
By Aldo Londi
Located in Brescia, IT
1980 Italian post modern design bull in turquoise enameled ceramic with abstract drawings. Piece colored in vibrant turquoise. Late 20th century Italian handmade production. Surface...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Post-Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Ceramic

"Le Plastique Roi" Original Swiss Design Museum Poster
Located in Boston, MA
A fine Post-Modern design by Werner Jeker, a Swiss designer working in Lausanne. This poster promotes an exhibition at the city's Decorative Arts Museum on streamlined design. This ...
Category

1980s Post-Modern Prints and Multiples

Materials

Offset

"Wohnshop (table and leaf)" Hand-signed Original Swiss Design Poster
Located in Boston, MA
This poster for a modern furniture store is one of the most beautiful Post-Modern designs of the Eighties from Switzerland. The conjunction of beautiful modern materials, some finish...
Category

1980s Post-Modern Prints and Multiples

Materials

Offset

'Circle of Life' Dining or Center Table by Design Institute America, 1980's
By Design Institute America
Located in Los Angeles, CA
The "Circle of Life" table is unique Post-Modern design by Design Institute America (DIA) designed and produced in the 1980s. Ideal as a dining table, cafe or breakfast table, games ...
Category

Vintage 1980s American Post-Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Steel

Design Institute of America Post Modern Cantilevered Coffee Table
By Design Institute America
Located in Miami, FL
Black beveled glass with black lacquered wood base cantilevered coffee or cocktail table by Design Institute of America. Signed on the inside of base.
Category

1990s American Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Smoked Glass, Wood

Kaizo Oto for Design Institute of America Geometric Post Modern Coffee Table
By Kaizo Oto, Design Institute America
Located in Saint Louis, MO
1980s Post modern mixed metal coffee table with geometric forms by designer Kaizo Oto for Design Institute of America. A great way to integrate or bring together mixed metals into yo...
Category

Vintage 1980s American Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Steel, Stainless Steel, Chrome, Brass

Biomorphic Post Modern Memphis Style Colorful Pastel Credenza / Sideboard
By Reeves Design + Art
Located in Houston, TX
Stylish custom made credenza or sideboard with three dimensional biomorphic shapes on the doors. The case is made of oak and features legs that were hand turned on a lathe. Designed ...
Category

2010s American Post-Modern Credenzas

Materials

Oak

Brutalist /Post Modern Pair of Custom Grey and Natural Oak Peg Nightstands
By Reeves Design + Art
Located in Houston, TX
Post modern pair of custom grey and natural oak peg nightstands. Custom made in houston texas by Reeves Art + Design.
Category

2010s North American Post-Modern Side Tables

Materials

Oak

Bieffeplast Yellow Metal Shelve System, Post-Modern Italian Design, 1970
By Bieffeplast
Located in Antwerp, BE
Bieffeplast yellow metal shelving unit, post-modern Italian design, 1970 Memphis style piece reminiscent of Enzo Mari & other great Italian designers. Also the bucket on wheels g...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Post-Modern Shelves

Materials

Steel

Contemporary Abstract Moroccan Rug with Post-Modern Memphis Group Design
By Berber Tribes of Morocco
Located in Dallas, TX
20714, Contemporary Abstract Moroccan Rug with Post-Modern Memphis Group Design. With funky bold pops of color, elements of comfort and functional versatility, this hand-knotted wool...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Moroccan Post-Modern Moroccan and North Af...

Materials

Wool

Post Modern Swiss Design Seconda Chairs by Mario Botta for Alias, 1980s
By Alias, Mario Botta
Located in Renens, CH
Set of 6 Seconda chairs by Mario Botta for Alias, 1980s The Seconda chair (1982) is an iconic piece of design, with use of materials that are typical for Botta’s furniture and lam...
Category

Vintage 1980s Swiss Post-Modern Chairs

Materials

Metal

Italy Post Design Modern Abstract Orange Terracotta Disk Bowl
Located in Brescia, IT
This orange abstract disk is handmade in terracotta by an Italian unknown artist, in 1972. The terracotta disk is patinated with a mat color orange and black on the front surface. Th...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Mounted Objects

Materials

Terracotta

Post-War Design Petrified Wood Table
Located in New York, NY
Post-War Design low table with a petrified wood free form top resting on a gold painted metal base with 4 scroll legs
Category

20th Century Post-Modern Side Tables

Materials

Metal

  • Post-War Design Petrified Wood Table
  • Post-War Design Petrified Wood Table
  • Post-War Design Petrified Wood Table
  • Post-War Design Petrified Wood Table
H 18 in. W 24.25 in. D 18 in.
Round 'Upsilon' Coffee Table by Design Frères
By Design Frères
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Round 'Upsilon' marble and blackened steel coffee table by Design Frères. Polished round rain forest green veined marble over a heavy matte black tripod steel base. Great focal...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Marble, Steel

Round 'Upsilon' Coffee Table by Design Frères
By Design Frères
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Round 'Upsilon' marble and blackened steel coffee table by Design Frères. Polished round rain forest green veined marble over a heavy matte black tripod steel base. Great focal...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Marble, Steel

Round 'Upsilon' Coffee Table by Design Frères
By Design Frères
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Round 'Upsilon' marble and blackened steel coffee table by Design Frères. Polished round rain forest green veined marble over a heavy matte black tripod steel base. Great focal...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Marble, Steel

Pair of Custom Post Modern Brutalist Light Grey and Natural Oak Peg Nightstands
By Reeves Design + Art, Ettore Sottsass
Located in Houston, TX
Postmodern pair of custom grey and natural oak peg nightstands. The legs are hand carved on a lathe adding additional detail. Features an extended peg with notched finger pull for ea...
Category

2010s American Post-Modern End Tables

Materials

Oak

Modernist Custom Square Oak Turned Leg Coffee Table Post Modern
By Ettore Sottsass, Reeves Design + Art
Located in Houston, TX
Modernist custom square coffee table with unique oak legs that have been hand turned on a lathe. Made in Houston, TX by Reeves Design + Art local craftsman team.
Category

2010s American Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Wood

Belgian Post War Design '1970s' Coffee Table
By Willy Daro
Located in New York, NY
Belgian Post War design (1970s) coffee table with a bronze "Tree" form base having brass patinaed leaves under a rectangular glass top with a beveled edge (Willy Daro).  
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Brass, Bronze

  • Belgian Post War Design '1970s' Coffee Table
  • Belgian Post War Design '1970s' Coffee Table
  • Belgian Post War Design '1970s' Coffee Table
  • Belgian Post War Design '1970s' Coffee Table
H 16.5 in. W 47 in. D 23.5 in.
21st Century by Bartoli Design Lounge Chair Ergonomic Artisan Indoor-Outdoor
By Bartoli Design
Located in Lecce, IT
Indoor-outdoor lounge chair, frame in round steel tube, seat and backrest in contoured round steel rod.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Post-Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

De Sede Swiss Design DS 47 Sofa in Petrol Green Leather, Post-Modern, 1980's
By De Sede
Located in Antwerp, BE
De Sede, Switzerland 1980s; Petrol blue green sofa, DS 47; Swiss design; design classics; Post-modern De Sede DS 47 Sofa in petrol green leather. A luxury Swiss leather design cla...
Category

Late 20th Century Swiss Post-Modern Sofas

Materials

Leather

Post Custom Oak Scallop Top and Charcoal Black Base Dining Table
By Reeves Design + Art
Located in Houston, TX
Post custom oak scallop top and charcoal black base dining table made by Reeves Design + Art.
Category

2010s North American Post-Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Oak

Peter Shire Post Modernist Memphis Design Ceramic Teapot
By Peter Shire
Located in Pasadena, CA
Spouted teapot created by Los Angeles artist and designer of the Memphis Group, Peter Shire. Teapot measures: 10" high by 12.5" wide and 5.5" deep. It is signed EXP, 1999. In very go...
Category

1990s American Post-Modern Ceramics

Materials

Ceramic

Danish Post-War Design Expandable Teak Dining Table
Located in New York, NY
Danish Post-War Design expandable teak dining table supported on square legs. (Opened length - 86")
Category

20th Century Danish Post-Modern Dining Room Tables

Ingo Maurer Cork Lamp for Design M, Germany, 1974
By Design M, Ingo Maurer
Located in London, GB
The late Ingo Maurer (1932-2019), founder of design company Design M in Munich, designed intriguing lighting for over 40 years. His output is distinctive in form and concept. His des...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Post-Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Cork

DIA Chrome and Pink Channel Back Dining Chairs, Design Institute America 1980
By Design Institute America
Located in Lambertville, NJ
Set of four sculptural post modern dining chairs by DIA, Design Institute America. Sculptural channeled backs and seats feature original pink Ultrasuede upholstery and chrome flat ba...
Category

Vintage 1980s Post-Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Ultrasuede

Jens Risom Danish Post-War Design Teak Dining Table
By Jens Risom
Located in New York, NY
Danish Post-War Design teak dining table with a bowed design top and resting on square legs connected by a stretcher on either side. (label: JENS RISOM)
Category

20th Century Post-Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Teak

Pair of Chic 'Caisson' Solid Brass and Black Lacquer End Tables by Design Frères
By Design Frères
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pair of chic 'Caisson' brass and black lacquer end tables by Design Frères. Solid (not plated) brass frames pared with durable lacquer tops (coasters still recommended). Great as end...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary French Post-Modern End Tables

Materials

Brass

Pair of Chic 'Caisson' Solid Brass and Black Lacquer End Tables by Design Frères
By Design Frères
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pair of chic 'Caisson' brass and black lacquer end tables by Design Frères. Solid (not plated) brass frames pared with durable lacquer tops (coasters still recommended). Great as end...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary French Post-Modern End Tables

Materials

Brass

Illuminated Dining Table by Johanna Grawunder for Post-Design
By Johanna Grawunder
Located in Vienna, AT
Very rare dining table (Wicked 64) by Johanna Grawunder for Post-Design Milan, 2001. New York based designer/architect and former partner of Ettore Sottsass, Johanna Grawunder, desig...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Post-Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Glass, Rubber

American Post-War Design Leather Chairs
Located in New York, NY
3 American post-war design chrome framed armchairs with various shades of grey upholstered seats with a square back (style of Mies van de Rohe-Gordon Chair Co) (priced each).
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel, Chrome

  • American Post-War Design Leather Chairs
  • American Post-War Design Leather Chairs
  • American Post-War Design Leather Chairs
  • American Post-War Design Leather Chairs
H 32 in. W 22 in. D 21.5 in.
Tapestry by Nathalie du Pasquier, Limited Edition, No. 2/36, Signed 2005
By Post Design, Nathalie du Pasquier
Located in Kansas City, MO
Tapestry by Nathalie du Pasquier for Post Design, Italy, 2005. This example is number 2 of 36. This thick handwoven wool wall hanging is in excellent condition.
Category

Early 2000s Italian Post-Modern Tapestries

Materials

Wool

American Post-War Design Large Jardiniere, By Gary DiPasquale
By Gary Dipasquale
Located in New York, NY
American post-war design large glazed ceramic green textured square tapered jardiniere resting a low square base designed by acclaimed and collectible artist Gary DiPasquale.  
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern Planters, Cachepots a...

Materials

Ceramic

Post-War Design Italian Venetian Murano Silvered Glass Chandelier
Located in New York, NY
Post-War Design Italian Venetian Murano silvered glass chandelier with multiple scroll 8 arms and multiple scrolls emanating from a center shaft with a final and bowl bottom.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Post-Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Glass

Light Blue with Navy Post Modern Hand Knotted Wool Rug in Japanese Design
By Woven Concepts
Located in New York, NY
Please keep in mind that this is a hand-knotted rug that is made to order and shipped from overseas. Delivery time is approximately 28 weeks. The UnTitled collection was designed b...
Category

2010s Indian Modern Indian Rugs

Materials

Wool

Light Blue with Navy Post Modern Hand Knotted Wool Rug in Japanese Design
By Woven Concepts
Located in New York, NY
The UnTitled collection was designed by Jaime Derringer: artist, blogger, and founder of Design Milk. Jaime’s intuitive and fluid brushstrokes are reminiscent of Japanese Shodo calli...
Category

2010s Indian Modern Indian Rugs

Materials

Wool

Light Blue with Navy Post Modern Hand-Knotted Wool Rug in Japanese Design
By Woven Concepts
Located in New York, NY
The UnTitled collection was designed by Jaime Derringer: artist, blogger, and founder of Design Milk. Jaime’s intuitive and fluid brushstrokes are reminiscent of Japanese Shodo calli...
Category

2010s Indian Modern Indian Rugs

Materials

Wool

Post-War Design Light Wood Dining Table
Located in New York, NY
Post-War Design Danish-style (1950s) light wood round dining table with 4 small oval inlaid sections supported on 4 conical form legs (originally had leaves)
Category

Vintage 1950s Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Wood

Italian Post-War Design Pink Velvet Settee
Located in New York, NY
Italian Post-War Design 1960s style (modern) black velvet settee with rounded sides and shaped front with pink velvet seat & 4 back cushions contemporary, modern.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Settees

Materials

Velvet

Post-War Design Glass Table Desk with Bronze Saw Horses
Located in New York, NY
Post-War Design Giacometti style table desk with a Pair of verdigris patina bronze "A" frame sawhorse bases under a rectangular glass top.
Category

20th Century American Post-Modern Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Bronze

Ettore Sottass "Pattica Lamp" for Memphis 'Post Design' Collection, 2000
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass
Located in London, GB
Ettore Sottsass Post design (Memphis), Milan, Italy. ‘Pattica’ lamp, 2000. Yellow dyed maple base with five florescent lamps. Original box. Fully function, supplied complete with ...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Post-Modern Table Lamps

Ettore Sottsass Shiva Vase for BD Barcelona Design
By Ettore Sottsass, BD Barcelona Design
Located in Madrid, ES
Ceramic 'Shiva Vase' by Ettore Sottsass for BD Barcelona design. In the beginning of the 1970s Sottsass made different trips to Barcelona. He had fallen in love with a beautiful C...
Category

Late 20th Century Spanish Post-Modern Vases

Materials

Ceramic

Pair of French (1980s) Post-War Design End / Side Tables
Located in New York, NY
PAIR of French (1980s) Post-War Design rectangular end / side tables with a patinated metal frame supporting pyrite tray tops (metal plate: "STUDIO MATHIAS")  
Category

Mid-20th Century French Post-Modern End Tables

Materials

Pyrite, Metal

Set of Four Italian Post War Design 1970s Side Chairs
By Romeo Rega
Located in New York, NY
Set of four contemporary Italian postwar design 1970s chrome side chairs with dark green suede upholstered seat and back panel (by ROMEO REGA). Matching game table is dealer referen...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Post-Modern Side Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Milo Baughman for Design Institute of America Chrome Cantilevered Dining Chairs
By Milo Baughman, Design Institute America
Located in Miami, FL
Chrome dining chairs on casters with original fabric by Milo Baughman for Design Institute of America (DIA). The fabric is dotted with white/blue and white/pink polka dot like sti...
Category

Vintage 1980s American Post-Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Italian Post-War Design Metal and Glass Table
Located in New York, NY
Italian Post-War Design chrome plated metal abstract geometric form table base (With 47.25" square glass top)
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Metal, Chrome

  • Italian Post-War Design Metal and Glass Table
  • Italian Post-War Design Metal and Glass Table
  • Italian Post-War Design Metal and Glass Table
  • Italian Post-War Design Metal and Glass Table
H 29 in. W 47.25 in. D 47.25 in.
Post-War Blue and Orange Ceramic Fish Design Vase
Located in New York, NY
Post-War West Germany tall cylindrical dark blue vase with large orange fish.
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Ceramic

Modern Aluminum Sculptural Bookends
By Argosy Designs
Located in Treadwell, NY
Collection I: Sculptural bookends Architectural forms, minimalist design, and Machine Age simplicity inform these statuesque bookends. Each purchase includes a pair of bookends...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern More Desk Accessories

Materials

Aluminum

  • Modern Aluminum Sculptural Bookends
  • Modern Aluminum Sculptural Bookends
  • Modern Aluminum Sculptural Bookends
  • Modern Aluminum Sculptural Bookends
H 8.75 in. W 4 in. D 5 in.
Modern Steel Fireplace Tool
By Argosy Designs
Located in Treadwell, NY
A unique contemporary steel fireplace tool with a hand-forged stainless steel handle. This is a one-of-a-kind piece and would make a great addition to any modern home. Dimensions:...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern Fireplace Tools and C...

Materials

Stainless Steel, Steel

  • Modern Steel Fireplace Tool
  • Modern Steel Fireplace Tool
  • Modern Steel Fireplace Tool
  • Modern Steel Fireplace Tool
H 29.50 in. W 1 in. D 1 in.
Post-War Bay Keramic Orange Ceramic Vase with Blue Design
Located in New York, NY
Post-War West Germany square shaped orange "fat lava"ceramic vase with blue circle design and cylindrical neck (BAY KERAMIC).        
Category

20th Century German Modern Vases

Materials

Ceramic

American Modern Design Faux Ivory Coffee Table
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
American Modern design rectangular coffee table with faux ivory brick design surface. (from the estate of Pamela Harriman)
Category

20th Century American Post-Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Modern Steel and Brass Andirons
By Argosy Designs
Located in Treadwell, NY
A unique pair of contemporary polished brass and steel andirons by Erik Johnson of APD. This stunning set makes a bold statement in the modern home. 1 of 1 APD Item 00037 Letter ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern Andirons

Materials

Brass, Steel

  • Modern Steel and Brass Andirons
  • Modern Steel and Brass Andirons
  • Modern Steel and Brass Andirons
  • Modern Steel and Brass Andirons
H 16 in. W 14.63 in. D 20 in.
Modern Steel and Aluminum Andirons
By Argosy Designs
Located in Treadwell, NY
A unique pair of contemporary aluminum and steel andirons by Erik Johnson of APD. This is a one-of-a-kind set and would make a great addition to any modern home. 1 of 1 APD Item 0...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern Andirons

Materials

Aluminum, Steel

  • Modern Steel and Aluminum Andirons
  • Modern Steel and Aluminum Andirons
  • Modern Steel and Aluminum Andirons
  • Modern Steel and Aluminum Andirons
H 16 in. W 9.57 in. D 23.44 in.
Modern Steel and Brass Object
By Argosy Designs
Located in Treadwell, NY
Modern steel and brass sculptural object by Erik Johnson of APD. 1 of 1 Stamped APD 00039 Letter of Authenticity included with the piece. Dimensions: 4 7/8" W x 9 1/4" D...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern Abstract Sculptures

Materials

Steel, Brass

  • Modern Steel and Brass Object
  • Modern Steel and Brass Object
  • Modern Steel and Brass Object
  • Modern Steel and Brass Object
H 6 in. W 4.88 in. D 9.25 in.
14kt Yellow Gold Mabe Pearl Earrings, Design Wahing, Friction Post
Located in Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Beautiful 14kt yellow gold white mabe pearl earrings made by designer WAHING; they have friction post and are secured with omega backings. The pearls are in very nice condition and h...
Category

2010s Modern Stud Earrings

Materials

Pearl, 14k Gold, Yellow Gold

Modern Steel and Brass Fireplace Tool
By Argosy Designs
Located in Treadwell, NY
A unique contemporary steel fireplace tool with a brass forged handle. This is a one-of-a-kind piece and would make a great addition to any modern home. Dimensions: 19 1/2" L x 1...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Post-Modern Fireplace Tools and C...

Materials

Brass, Steel

  • Modern Steel and Brass Fireplace Tool
  • Modern Steel and Brass Fireplace Tool
  • Modern Steel and Brass Fireplace Tool
  • Modern Steel and Brass Fireplace Tool
H 19.50 in. W 1 in. D 1 in.
  • 1
  • ...

Post Modern Designs For Sale on 1stDibs

There is a range of post modern designs for sale on 1stDibs. Each of these unique post modern designs was constructed with extraordinary care, often using metal, wood and glass. We have 334 antique and vintage post modern designs in-stock, while there are 122 modern editions to choose from as well. Post modern designs have long been popular, with older editions for sale from the 19th Century and newer versions made as recently as the 21st Century. Post modern designs made by Mid-Century Modern designers — as well as those associated with Modern — are very popular at 1stDibs. There have been many well-made post modern designs over the years, but those made by Ettore Sottsass, Design Institute America and Argosy Designs are often thought to be among the most beautiful.

How Much are Post Modern Designs?

The average selling price for at 1stDibs is $2,673, while they’re typically $45 on the low end and $50,000 highest priced.

A Close Look at post-modern Furniture

Strictly speaking, postmodern design was a short-lived movement that manifested itself chiefly in Italy and the United States in the early 1980s. The characteristics of postmodern furniture and other postmodern objects included hot-colored, loud-patterned, usually plastic surfaces; strange proportions and weird angles; and a vague-at-best relationship between form and function.

Critics derided postmodern design as a grandstanding bid for attention and nothing of consequence. The fact that, decades later, postmodern design still has the power to provoke thoughts (along with other reactions) proves they were not entirely correct.

Postmodernism began as an architectural critique. Starting in the 1960s, a small cadre of mainly American architects began to argue that modernism, once high-minded and even noble in its goals, had become stale, stagnant and blandly corporate. In the next decade in Milan, a cohort of designers led by Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini brought the discussion to bear on design.

Sottsass and Michele de Lucchi, in 1980, gathered a core group of young designers, which would come to include Michael Graves, Marco Zanini, Shiro Kuramata and Matteo Thun, into a design collective they called Memphis. The Memphis Group saw design as a means of communication and they wanted it to shout. That it did: the first Memphis collection appeared in 1981 and broke all the modernist taboos, embracing irony, kitsch, wild ornamentation and bad taste.

Memphis works remain icons of postmodernism: the Sottsass Casablanca bookcase, with its leopard-print plastic veneer; de Lucchi’s First chair, which has been described as having the look of an electronics component; Martine Bedin’s Super lamp: a pull-toy puppy on a power cord leash. After the initial Memphis show caused an uproar, postmodern design quickly took off in America. The architect Robert Venturi had already begun a series of plywood chairs for Knoll Inc. with beefy, exaggerated silhouettes of traditional styles such as Queen Anne and Chippendale. In 1982, the new firm Swid Powell enlisted a group of top American architects, including Frank Gehry, Richard Meier, Stanley Tigerman and Venturi to create postmodern tableware in silver, ceramic and glass.

On 1stDibs, the collection of postmodern furniture includes seating, decorative objects, lighting fixtures and more.