Design Icon: Ettore Sottsass

​Ettore Sottsass, renowned Italian architect and designer who brought bold colors and an innovative contemporary style to everyday items, creating iconic postmodern furniture. Explore a selection of iconic decorative objects he designed for Bitossi Ceramiche and Ceramica Gatti.

Ettore Sottsass, architect and industrial designer, was born in the city of Innsbruck in 1917 and has been one of the most influential and important figures of the 20th century design scene. Sottsass is know for having designed striking postmodern furniture with a unique contemporary style and exceptional use of bold colors. After graduating in architecture from the Politecnico of Torino, and after being exposed to the Pop Art movement during a trip to United States in 1956; Sottsass started collaborating Olivetti. As a matter of fact Ettore Sottsass designed some of Olivetti's most iconic products, including the red plastic Valentine portable typewriter.

Following his experience with Olivetti, in the early 1981, Sottsass founded the Memphis Design with a group of young Milanese architects and designers that were soon joined by famous international postmodern designers and architects that has radically changed the scenario of Italian and world design. 

Since then Ettore Sottsass has collaborated with other brands, such as, Alessi, Baccarat, Knoll, Artemide and ​Bitossi Ceramiche and has also been awarded with numerous international awards including the Golden Compass in 1959.

Sottsass’ work can be found in the permanent collections of international museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

When  I  was young, all we ever heard about was functionalism, functionalism, functionalism. It's not enough. Design should also be sensual and exciting.

Shop Ettore Sottsass

​Explore products designed by the great Ettore Sottsass on ​Memphis Milano Page​Ceramica Gatti Page​Bitossi Ceramiche ​Page​Meccani Design Page and ​Braganti Page.

View of Dennis Zanone home, who owns one of the most famous collections of Memphis design.
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