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Ettore Sottsass
Italy, 1980's

Vintage ‘Tahiti’ table lamp. Polychrome enameled metal “duck” with pivoting head mounted on a black and white bacterio-patterned laminate base. 

Austrian-born architect and designer Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) graduated from Politecnico di Torino in 1939. He opened his own design studio in 1947, and in 1958 Sottsass was hired by Italian manufacturer Olivetti, for whom he designed electronic devices including the iconic typewriter Valentine.

In 1981 Sottsass founded the Italian design collaborative Memphis along with designers such as George Sowden, Martine Bedin and Nathalie Du Pasquier. The group debuted at Salone del Mobile of Milan and their colorful vases, furniture, carpets, lighting, ceramics and fabrics expanded the creative limits of the design industry. The Milan-based collective of designers formed to challenge the rationalist design principles they had been taught. They employed unexpected forms, bold colors, graphic patterns, and cheap materials—like plastic—to forge a new approach to design. 

Sottsass left the group in 1985 to form his own practice, which continues to operate today.
His work is part of the collections of MoMA, The Met and The Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, the Design Museum in London and the Stedelijk in Amsterdam among others. 

H 63 x W 30 cm

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