Unidentified photograph of Ettore Sottsass
Carlton Cabinet (1981) – Ettore Sottsass
Invitation to the first Memphis presentation, Sept 18 1981,
graphics by Luciano Paccagnella.
image sourced here
Ettore Sottsass Olivetti Valentine, first released on Valentine’s Day 1969.
Ettore Sottsass (14 September 1917 – 31 December 2007) was an Innsbruck-born Italian architect and designer of the late 20th century. He founded the Memphis Group and
was a member briefly flirted with the Situationist International for a (very) short time. He was also connected to the radical design movement. His best-known product is the 1969 Olivetti Valentine typewriter. His 1981 “Carlton Cabinet” was to many people their first de facto exposure to postmodernism.
Sottsass founded the Memphis Group, an influential postmodern Italian design and architecture movement of the 1980s. Memphis explored a visual language outside of the limiting canons of “good taste,” blurring the boundaries between “high culture” and mass-produced “ordinary” consumer goods.
Radical design developed in Italy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It continued the tradition of using new materials and bold colours that began with Pop Art but also drew on historical styles such as Art Deco, Kitsch, and Surrealism. The main exponents of Radical Design were small groups of architects and designers who questioned Modernism and rejected mass-consumer culture. Key groups and designers of the Radical style include Superstudio, Archizoom Associati, UFO, Gruppo Strum, and Ettore Sottsass.