Ettore Sottsass


Son of Ettore Sottsass Sr, a great Italian pre-war architect, Ettore Sottsass Jr was born on September 14, 1917 in Innsbruck, Austria. Passionate about painting, drawing, sculpture and photography, he graduated in architecture in Turin in 1939 and began his career working with his father before setting up his own practice in Milan in 1947, where he worked on a number of interior design projects. In 1956, he moved to the United States and joined George Nelson’s agency in New York, where he discovered the practices linking industrialists and artists, which gave him new perspectives on his profession.Back in Milan, he became artistic director of Poltronova, a company specializing in the design and production of contemporary furniture, before being chosen by Adriano Olivetti in 1958 to become a consultant designer. Since then, Sottsass has been working on a series of projects. His work is based essentially on the play of light and color, which he believes are the best definitions of shapes and spaces. He participated in the design of the very first Italian computer in 1959, then designed several electric typewriters. He also undertook multiple trips that influenced his artistic vision, including one to India, which inspired the two series: “Ceramics of Darkness” and “Ceramics of Light”.advocating a sensory approach to design and architecture to define the lines, the artist gives great importance to color, materials used. He thus joined the movement of Anti-Design of the sixties which opposes the functionalism and architectural rationalism then in force. At the same time, the artist founded the creative agency Sottsass Associati, which focused more on industrial design and architecture and collaborated with several companies, including Apple and Fiat. He died on December 31, 2007 in Milan.


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  • Ettore Sottsass
Ca. 1962
Inquiry: ’Tavolo’ coffee table

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