Born in Italy in 1917, Ettore Sottsass was an architect and designer known for his large oeuvre that includes furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting, and office design. Founder of the Memphis Group, a collective of designers who brought forth unprecedented designs marked by clashing forms, colors, and haphazard arrangements which have since had an outsized influence on contemporary design.
Drawing inspiration from such movements as Art Deco and Pop Art, Memphis produced and exhibited furniture and objects that were vibrant in color and futuristic in design. Sottsass’ own work was known for its variety, oftentimes incorporating playfulness through ornamentation and color. His Olivetti typewriter (1969), one of his most celebrated designs, made of bright red-orange plastic, was a Pop phenomenon in both its functionality and innovative design.