Ettore Sottsass

Innsbruck 1917 - 2008 Mailand

Ettore Sottsass, the son of the Italian architect Ettore Sottsass the senior, was born in Innsbruck in 1917. He began his studies at the Polytechnikum in Turin in 1935 and graduated in 1939. Sottsass started freelancing in Milan in 1947 and began working on architectural and design projects. He also participated at the Triennale in Milan and was represented at various exhibitions around the world. In 1957 Ettore Sottsass became the artistic leader of “Poltronova”, where he designed furniture and light fixtures. In the following year, he started collaborating with the Italian corporation Olivetti, an office machine manufacturer. The unconventional designs of the artist, like the one for the first Italian computer, attracted a lot of interest. But his most famous design is that of the typewriter for Olivetti Valentine, which is displayed in the Museum for Modern Art in New York. In 1981, Sottsass founded the Memphis Group, a union of international furniture, textile and ceramics designers. The group soon became the new symbol of postmodernism, that rejected the ‘international style’. In 1981, the designer started his own corporation, the “Ettore Sottsass Associati”. In the 1990s, Sottsass received many prices and awards. Ettore Sottsass is famous for his role in the renewal of design after the second world war. He died in 2007 in Milan.