Paris’ Centre Pompidou is holding an extensive survey on master Italian designer Ettore Sottsass. The collection includes 500 photographs and archival documents explaining his process, along with 400 drawings, paintings, and unique objects that chronicles his life from the 1940s to the 1980s.
More Italian Designers
Gruppo 9999 Italian Architecture and Design Group
Gruppo 9999 was a group of radical architects founded in Florence in 1968 by Giorgio Birelli, Carlo Caldini, Fabrizio Fiumi and Paolo Galli.
Giovanni Pintori (1912 – 1999) Italian Graphic Design
Giovanni Pintori (1912–1999) was an Italian graphic designer best known for his advertising work with Olivetti. His posters for the Lettera 22 and Olivetti logo are renowned for their use of geometric shapes and minimalist design.
La Danese Italian domestic goods manufacturer
La Danese was founded in Milan by Bruno Danese and Jacqueline Vodoz. The company specialised in editing, designing, and marketing well‐designed everyday products with a modern aesthetic. There were three significant focus areas: domestic and office products, artistic editions, and children’s games and creative play stimuli.
Enzo Mari (1932 -2020) Italian modernist, industrial designer
Graduating Table Bowls In 1956, he became interested in design, particularly books and children’s games. In 1957, he began working for Danese, for whom some of his designs and ideas for games and puzzles, including the 1957 wooden child’s puzzle, were realised.
Vico Magistretti (1920 – 2006) Italian architect/designer
In 1920 Vico Magistretti was born in Milan, Italy. First recognition of his work came in 1948, at the 8th Triennale. He started designing for Cassina in 1960, and from that date on his signature is to be found on many products.
Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) Father of Anti-Design
Although trained and active as an architect, Sottsass secured a permanent place in pop culture with his designs of everyday items. From 1957, he was a consultant designer at Olivetti, where he designed computers, adding machines, typewriters, and systems furniture.
Gianni Pasini (b.1937) Italian Designer – Electronic Machinery
Gianni Pasini was born in 1937 in Venice and professionally active in Milan. Some of his clients were Olivetti, Fabbrica Italiana, Magneti Marelli, and Crin hospital. He worked with Sandro Pasqui in a design studio from 1974 onwards.
Harry Bertoia (1915 – 1978) Italian sculptor, furniture designer
Harry Bertoia was a sculptor, printmaker, jeweller, and furniture designer. He was born in San Lorenzo, Udine, and worked in the United States professionally. During World War Two he worked with Ray and Charles Eames on moulded-plywood technology. He worked primarily as a sculptor from the mid-1950s onwards. His sculpture was prominently featured in many of Eero Saarinen’s buildings.
Antonia Astori (b.1940) Italian designer co-founded Driade
Antonia Astori co-founded Driade with her brother Enrico and Adelaide Acerbi in 1968. She was able to create a unique network of furniture designers, galleries, and shops.
Memphis Group – it has little to do with Tennessee
Memphis was a movement in interior design introduced at the annual Milan Furniture Fair in 1981. It consisted of a group led by Memphis guru Ettore Sottass of avant-garde Italian designers. With outrageous interpretations of traditional furnishings and accessories, Memphis shocked the traditionally quiet industry.
Gio Ponti (1891-1979) Italian designer, writer and teacher
Gio Ponti was an influential writer, teacher, and practising architect who was one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century Italian design. In a long and illustrious career, he worked in a wide variety of design fields, from interiors to furniture and product design, understanding the value of craft traditions alongside creating a new aesthetic.
Zanussi Italian manufacturer and design firm
Antonio Zanussi established the household appliance firm in Pordenone in 1916. It was initially a workshop for repairing stoves. His sons and Guido and Lino took over on his death in 1946, and under them, the firm began its rise.
Archizoom avant-garde Italian design studio
Four architects—Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Massimo Morozzi—and two designers—Dario Bartolini and Lucia Bartolini—founded Archizoom this Italian avant-garde design studio in 1966 in Florence, Italy. They focused on exhibition installations and architecture and designing interiors and goods as part of the Italian Anti-Design or Radical Design movement.
Matteo Thun (b.1952) Italian ceramicist and designer
We reject design as an issue of taste! We follow a different strategy: Simplicity. We always search for the iconic form and create things that people can understand intuitively. We,
George Sowden – British/Italian Designer
George James Sowden is a British designer. He was born in Leeds and active Italy. Between 1960-64 and 1966-68, he studied architecture, Gloucester College of Arts.
Alessandro Mendini (b.1931) Italy’s famous design thinker
Alessandro Mendini (b.1931) played an important part in the development of Italian, Postmodern, and Radical design. He was co-founder of Studio Alchymia (with Alessandro and Adriana Guernero) in 1976. He was awarded several international prizes, including the Compasso d’Oro in 1979, 1981, and 2014. In 2011, he was awarded with the title Doctor Honoris Causa of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan.
The Olivetti Lettera 22 Typewriter – Lightweight and Compact
Olivetti’s 1950 Olivetti 22 typewriter became the standard for portable typewriters. Marcello Nizzoli’s Typewriter won the Compasso d’Oro at the 10th Triennale in Rome in 1951. Ettore Sottsass would further develop this design in the 1964 Teckne 3.
Proust Armchair (1978) – Luxury Comes in All Forms
The Studio Alchimia in Milan was founded in 1976 and exhibited its first collection in 1979. Alessandro Mendini’s Proust armchair is one of the most unusual pieces from the Bau.Haus collection. It was made in a small number and individually painted to express the collective’s unease with mass production.
Halogen bulbs revolutionised home lighting.
The halogen bulb is the first new invention to completely transform the lighting industry since Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in creating the incandescent lamp by successfully making a loop of carbonized cotton thread glow in a vacuum for 40 hours.
Marco Zotta (b.1945) Italian industrial designer
He designed furniture and furnishings, lighting for clients including Fargas, Le Cose, Studio Grando, Stilnovo and Evoluzione. He became a member of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale).
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