On display at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris are some iconic pieces of furniture designed by Sottsass during his collaboration with Poltronova.
The Italian Cultural Institute of Paris presents an exhibition dedicated to the designer Ettore Sottsass. The exhibition, curated by Ivan Mietton, features a selection of pieces made during his collaboration with the Florentine company Poltronova, of which Sottsass was artistic director between 1956 and 1974. In particular, there are several original pieces of furniture from the 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1971 collections, such as the Loto tables, the iconic Barbarella sécretaire, the famous Superboxes, the Ultrafragola mirror, the Asteroid lamp and the Califfo sofas.
Sottsass also worked with the Italian company Olivetti as a consultant designer. In 1959 he won a Compasso d’Oro for the design of the first Italian computer “Elea 9003”. He also designed the typewriters “Tekne 3”, “Praxis 48” and the famous “Valentina”. In 1960, Sottsass founded his design studio, Studio Ricerche Design and, in 1981, the Memphis group. On that occasion, he brought together young designers such as Matteo Thun, Aldo Cibic and Michele De Lucchi. Together they defined the formal and colourful language of Memphis. Far from the compromise of industrial design, Memphis’ objects are, according to Sottsass, “more colourful, more joyful, more optimistic, more humorous”. They feature assertive polychromy, unusual coatings and contradictory combinations of materials. Sottsass died in Milan in 2007.