Ettore Sottsass

A designer should know that objects can become the tool of an existential ritual.

Brilliant and multifaceted, Sottsass is an unmistakable figure in the history of 20th century design. His work was dedicated to the creation of furniture, jewelry, glass, lamps, objects for the home and office, as well as the design of many buildings and interiors. Raised in Turin, he eventually graduated with an Architecture degree from the Turin Polytechnic University in 1939. In 1947 he founded his architecture and industrial design studio in Milan. In 1956 he moved to New York where he began working in the studio of George Nelson. Upon returning to Italy, he begins a series of important collaborations with Poltronova and Olivetti. From the late 1960s to the 1970s he collaborated with Superstudio and Archizoom Associati, within the Radical Architecture movement, until founding the Memphis group in 1981, of which he was the leader. In the mid-1980s he founded the Sottsass Associati architecture studio. Sottsass has been awarded numerous international prizes and was the winner of the ADI Compasso d’oro in 1959. His works are exhibited in the permanent collections of many prestigious museums around the world such as the MoMA of New York City, the Centre G. Pompidou in Paris, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

  • Design by Ettore Sottsass