I make no special difference between architecture and design, they are two different stages of invention.

Ettore Sottsass

Ettore Sottsass 1917–2007

Ettore Sottsass is one of the most significant designers and architects of the late 20th Century, his bold and colorful, Post Modern aesthetic enlivening objects, furniture and interiors and influencing design around the world. Born in Innsbruck, Austria in 1917, Sottsass and his family moved to Turin, Italy in 1929 so he could study architecture at the Politecnico di Turino. He graduated with a degree in architecture in 1939 but he was called to serve the Italian army during World War II and he spent most of the war in a concentration camp. Upon his return in 1945, he worked for his father, Ettore Sottsass senior, an architect practicing in Turin, before relocating to Milan to curate a craft exhibition at the 1946 Triennale.

In Milan, Sottsass began writing for the art and architectural magazine, Domus. It was also here in Milan that Sottsass founded his own architectural and industrial design practice establishing a name for himself by the end of the 1950s with the design of fashionable office equipment for Olivetti. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sottsass created radical and experimental designs for forward thinking companies like Poltronova. Sottsass’ exploration of a new visual language included collaborating with artists such as Alessandro Mendini and Andrea Branzi and culminated in the formation of the radical design collective, Memphis whose work was widely accepted and shown all over the world.

Notable architectural projects by Sottsass include the interiors of a chain of stores for Esprit (1985) and the Malpensa airport near Milan (2000). He received many awards and honors throughout his lifetime and his work has been the subject of numerous international publications and exhibitions including a recent retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Designs by Sottsass can be found in the permanent collections of many museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Auction Results Ettore Sottsass

ETTORE SOTTSASS, Cabinet no. 69 | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Cabinet no. 69

estimate: $40,000–60,000
result: $68,750
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Rare floor lamp, model 12731 | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Rare floor lamp, model 12731

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $62,500
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Omaggio 4 desk | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Omaggio 4 desk

estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $52,500
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Essetre shelving from the Mobili Grigi series | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Essetre shelving from the Mobili Grigi series

estimate: $40,000–50,000
result: $48,000
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Bookshelf No. 31 | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Bookshelf No. 31

estimate: $40,000–60,000
result: $47,500
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Totem | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Totem

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $32,500
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Lotorosso dining table | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Lotorosso dining table

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $32,400
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Rare Vaso Tornito | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Rare Vaso Tornito

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $30,000
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Burma totem | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Burma totem

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $30,000
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Harlow dining chairs, set of six | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Harlow dining chairs, set of six

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $27,600
ETTORE SOTTSASS, necklace | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

necklace

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $27,500
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Stand No. 6 | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Stand No. 6

estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $25,000
ETTORE SOTTSASS, Tantra vase | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

Tantra vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $24,000
ETTORE SOTTSASS, chalice, model 388 | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

chalice, model 388

estimate: $4,000–5,000
result: $22,800
ETTORE SOTTSASS, custom console | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

custom console

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $22,500
ETTORE SOTTSASS, In Praise of Epicurus | wright20.com

Ettore Sottsass

In Praise of Epicurus

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $22,500