Ettore Sottsass. Oltre il design

The exhibition Ettore Sottsass. Oltre il design realised at CSAC, Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione of Università di Parma, presents the results of an in-depth research conducted within a collection of Ettore Sottsass' materials, donated at CSAC in 1979. The collection is composed of drawings, designs, sketches and sculptures, which have been catalogued, digitalised and analysed by architectural and art historians, archivists, historians of design and contemporary art, who have studied Sottsass' design method, examining the constant elements and recurrences in his practice. The chronological exhibition itinerary illustrates these concepts and underlines the role of drawings and representations in his work.


Ettore Sottsass (Innsbruck, 1917 – Milano, 2007) is an Italian architect and designer. Graduated in 1940 from Politecnico di Torino, he started his own practice in Milan after World War II. His travels to USA and India strongly influenced his design approach and ideas. Sottsass' work ranges from architecture to design: advertising campaigns, exhibitions' design, textiles, furniture and objects for well known companies such as Olivetti, Poltronova and Kartell, among others. Sottsass' work is also known through his collaborations with Domus and numerous international exhibitions at Triennale di Milano and Cooper-Hewitt in New York among others, as well as his renowned designs, such as OIivetti portable typewriter Valentina and his works for Memphis group, which he founded. His design method and composition is constantly centred upon the role of drawings as tools to understand and verify the logic and appropriateness of each design.


Selected bibliography


Sottsass, Ettore. Mobili lunghi. Milano: Postdesign, 2000.


Sottsass, Ettore. Per qualcuno può essere lo spazio. Milano: Adelphi 2017.


Zanella, Francesca, ed. Ettore Sottsass. Catalogo ragionato dell'archivio 1922-1978 CSAC-Università di Parma. Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana editoriale; Parma: CSAC, 2017.