"It would not be difficult to find yourself living a life shaped almost entirely by Ettore Sottsass, the greatest Italian designer of the last half century, who has died in Milan aged 90. So many everyday things could bring you into an intimate physical connection with his work and his constantly inventive mind. At home, the bed, the bath, as well as the taps, and the door handle, and the door itself, could all have been designed by him. So could the dining table, the book shelves, and the kitchen furniture. At work, there are plenty of Sottsass-designed desks and chairs, lights and light switches to choose from. There are knifes and forks and spoons and glasses and plates and cups that go on selling in their thousands all designed by Sottsass. And if you happened to live in Milan, even the airport has a Sottsass interior, though Malpensa is not, it has to be said, the most successful of his projects.
All of these, and countless other artefacts large and small, from television sets, to precious glassware, from fashion shops for Esprit, to calculators for Olivetti, are all the product of Sottsass, and his team, the most productive, and one of the most influential design studios Italy has ever produced." [The Guardian obit continues]
If I admit to my complete ignorance about the existence of Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) until a day or so ago, I do so bolstered by the knowledge that it was my own good taste that honed in on his wonderful design sketches as I skimmed through the digital offerings at Centre Pompidou. (click below '60,000 art works' and then good luck searching) However, he may not be so pleased with the quality of web architecture that now houses in the vicinity of four hundred of his original design drawings (plus photographs of some of his creations).
All of the portrait images above are full size. There are slightly larger versions of the landscape shots if you click through. I saved all of the above plus some more in this flickr set. I've been having some hard disk problems lately and my normal machine is at the doctors, so it's actually a blessing, while relying on this old laptop, to be dealing with smaller images. I'm expecting a return to the faster machine in the next couple of days. (I did manage to lose about two hundred hard-won bookmarks in the process of readying the machine for the shop. Oh well. They were saved more in the way of 'moral support' than as the intended backbone of future posts, more or less.)
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Design Addict
- The mention of Olivetti above reminds me to provide links to the wonderful series of posts by the esteemed Mr Morrison at the nonist, from Graphis Annuals: one, two, three, four, five.