Ettore Sottsass Dead at 90

Ettore Sottsass—the Italian architect-turned-industrial- designer—passed away at his home in Milan on Monday at the age of 90. In a country where designers are often trained initially as architects, Sottsass said, “…the architecture profession deals with society…So architects, intellectual architects, placed great hope in design as a way to remake society.”

Sottsass worked with numerous design houses including Olivetti—where he created his iconic red, portable, plastic typewriter— Knoll, and Baccarat. In 1981, the designer helped found the Memphis design style. With the group’s use of signature bright colors, unconventional materials, and post-modernist style, Sottsass described those involved in the movement as “just people drunk for existence, drunk for life.”

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In January 2005, Martin Pedersen, Metropolis Executive Editor, had the opportunity to talk to Sottsass at an exhibit of his work at the Barry Friedman Gallery. Click to read Sottsass’s ‘Architecture for People.’

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