Design Icons: Ettore Sottsass
The Godfather of the Memphis movement, and a multidisciplinary designer with a love of geometry, bold colour and shape, Ettore Sottsass is the next in our Design Icons series.
An Italian architect and designer of the late 20th century, Sottsass grew up in Milan and has a body of work that includes furniture, jewellery, glass, lighting and office machinery. While working as a design consultant for Adriano Olivetti, Sottsass, through colour, form and styling, managed to bring office equipment into the realm of popular culture. The bright red Valentine typewriter that Sottsass designed for Olivetti in 1970, after travelling around the US and India, became a fashion accessory.
In the 1980s, the Memphis movement, defined by Sottsass' collaborations with younger designers such as Superstudio and Archizoom Associati, and association with the Radical movement, attracted attention worldwide for its energy and flamboyance. Sottsass began assembling Sottsass Associati, a major design consultancy that allowed him to build architecture on a large scale and for international industries.
Sottsass' confidence with the graphic line, experimenting with geometric statements and raw materials, is an inspiration to the Alice Made This studio.