La référence des professionnels
des communications et du design

Design in mourning

Cliquez ici pour voir toutes les photos

On December 31, Ettore Sottsass, the great Italian designer and cofounder of the Memphis movement, passed away, leaving behind a collection of iconic objects, including colourful totem pieces and the famous red typewriter.
Ettore Sottsass was born in 1917 in Innsbruck, Austria. After studying architecture, he worked with his father, also named Ettore Sottsass, the famous pre-war architect and former Otto Wagner student. In 1947, he established his agency in Milan, and, in 1958, became a consultant for Olivetti - a collaboration that lasted close to 30 years.

Amongst Ettore Sottsass's creations was the first Italian electronic calculator (Elea,1959) and many typewriters, including the famous Valentine (1969), which, despite the media flurry it caused, did not achieve commercial success.

In 1981, along with other designers, he founded the Memphis Group whose mission was to challenge the traditional notions of product design. Memphis became a major player in 20th century design. Without being tied to an object's functional aspects, Memphis's designs mixed references and materials, and employed poetry as a base element.

In 1985, Ettore Sottsass left Memphis to focus on his own agency, Sottsass Associati. He worked for Alessi and participated in the Milan Malpensa Airport project. He dedicated his last ten years to the design of private homes while continuing to create limited edition decorative objects.

Translation by Jennifer Edwards