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Ettore Sottsass Riposi In Pace


Ettore Sottsass. Image: nyt.com

VoCA is saddened to hear of the passing of one of our favorite designers, Ettore Sottsass. He was 90 years old. The influential designer, photographer and founder of the Memphis design group had an exceptionally creative mind and outrageous design sensibility.


Ettore Sottsass, Carlton shelving unit, 1981. Image: io.tudelft.nl

In 1980 Sottsass formed Memphis with a group of younger avant-garde designers from around the world, including Andrea Branzi, Alessandro Mendini Martine Bedin, and Michele De Lucchi. With the aim to revive Radical Design, and breaking the rules of the slick minimalism of the 70’s, they produced products that featured plastic and laminate surfaces, kitsch geometric patterns and bright colors. Memphis captured the attention of the mass media, and dominated the early 1980’s design scene. Sottsass parted with the group in 1985 to concentrate on Sottsass Associati, his Milan based architecture and design practice.


Ettore Sottssas, Valentine, portable typewriter, 1969. Item in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image: bdonline.co.uk

He was born in Innsbruck in 1917. His father, Ettore Sottsass Senior, was an architect. He studied architecture at Turin University and later worked for his father. In the late 1950’s he became a consultant to the electronics division of Olivetti. He created a series of technically innovative products – including the first Italian computer, the Elea 9003, and the bright red plastic 1970 Valentine typewriter.

Read the New York Times article HERE.

One Response to “Ettore Sottsass Riposi In Pace”

  1. Darth Vader says:

    What is thy biddding master?

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