Ettore Sottsass and the Poetry of Things
The incredible life story of one of the 20th century's most important designers, who knew everyone from Hemingway to Picasso.
Ettore Sottsass and the Poetry of Things chronicles the life and times of one of the most important, prolific, and, above all, interesting designers and architects of the 20th century. Sottsass (1917-2007), originally trained as an architect and worked as a design consultant for Olivetti, where he developed the iconic Valentine typewriter, before going on to found the Memphis Group in the 1980s, ushering in an era of influential designs in furniture, ceramics and lighting that continue to inspire design minds today with their flamboyance and use of color.
Author Deyan Sudjic (Director of London's Design Museum) does not limit his narrative to an examination of Sottsass' iconic designs. Though a native son of Italy, Sottsass cast a shadow of influence on the entire world, traveling extensively over the course of his life and interacting with some of the 20th century's most iconic figures, including Picasso, Hemingway and Allen Ginsberg. Sudjic's writing, complemented by unpublished personal photographs from Sottsass' archive, offers a unique view of Sottsass from the perspective of the world that surrounded him, recounting anecdotes of encounters between the designer and his famous contemporaries. The result is a unique and comprehensive portrait not only Sottsass but of the last 100 years of design in Italy and around the world.
Features anecdotes of his encounters with the biggest creatives of the time, and details of his influences and inspirations, documenting the contemporary design scene both in Italy and abroad.
Born in London, Deyan Sudjic studied architecture in Edinbugh, edited Domusmagazine in Milan, was the director of the Venice Architecture Biennale and has been a curator in Glasgow, Istanbul and Copenhagen. He is now director of The Design Museum in London. His books for Phaidon include Living in the Endless City, and monographs on John Pawson, Jan Kaplicky and Shiro Kuramata. His most recent book, B is for Bauhaus was published by Penguin in 2014.