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date: 25 February 2021

Sottsass, Ettore, jrlocked

(b Innsbruck, 1917; d Milan, Dec 31, 2007).

Extract

(b Innsbruck, 1917; d Milan, Dec 31, 2007).

Austrian architect and designer, active in Italy. He was the son of the architect Ettore Sottsass sr. Sottsass jr moved to Turin with his family at the age of 11 and qualified in architecture at the Politecnico, Turin, in 1939. Convinced of the role of colour as creator of space and as a means of breaking with the monochromatic preferences of the Rationalists, he developed a close relationship with avant-garde artists, organizing the first international exhibition of abstract art in Milan. His design for the Grassotti publicity stand (1948), an abstract composition of organic curves in laminated plywood, pays tribute to such Surrealist sculptors as Alexander Calder. In the early 1950s he concentrated on architecture. In the block of workers’ dwellings (1951), Romentino, Novara, he explored the relationship between architecture, terrain and climate, emphasizing the social function of spatial organization in encouraging community interaction. References to vernacular building types and the inclusion of traditional communal spaces, such as staircases and balconies, are also evident in later housing schemes at Arborea (...

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