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Ettore Sottsass


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Ettore Sottsass

The designer Ettore Sottsass was born on 14 September 1917 in Innsbruck. He died in Milan in 2007. Throughout his career as an architect and designer, he influenced the direction of the "anti-design" style and became famous internationally.

Ettore Sottsass' career began in 1935 with architecture studies at the Polytechnic in Turin. After graduating and becoming head of Poltronova in 1957, he experimented with fibreglass as a material and developed furniture and lighting objects from it.

In 1958 Sottsass began collaborating with Olivetti and caused a stir with his unconventional designs. One of his most famous designs is the Olivetti Valentine typewriter from 1968, which has become a classic and brought office design into pop culture.

Sottsass' designs impressed the professional world through their playful expression of everyday culture, marked with irony, humour and their opposition to the representative nature of possession of objects - this made him one of the leading representatives of "anti-design".

Ettore Sottsass founded his own company in 1980, the "Ettore Sottsass Associati". The Memphis design group, co-founded by him, also became successful and, following postmodern ideals, announced the end of the "international style".

Sottsass worked for companies alongside Olivetti, including Alessi, Poltronova and Knoll International throughout his career.

As part of the Busstop project, Sottsass also created the bus stop at Königsworther Platz in Hanover in 1994, for which he placed eight large yellow crosses on mottled stone and covered with a white roof. At the time Frank Gehry, Alessandro Mendini and others also participated in the project.

Ettore Sottsass' work is known and popular worldwide. Various exhibitions of his oeuvre have been held, including at the Biennale in Venice, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Design Museum London.

Website by Ettore Sottsass