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January 25, 2005

A Mere Moment with Ettore Sottsass


Interviewing a modern icon takes some prep work. Especially when you know that you have a limited amount of time to interview the subject - and when you know the subject doesn't suffer fools.

When the subject is Ettore Sottsass, who has lived 20 people's lives in his 87 years, it makes it only harder. Sottsass, who put his mark on industrial design 50 years ago when he worked for Olivetti, has put his handprint on architecture, furniture design and social movements as well.

So where did we begin when we interviewed this modern renaissance man? Why the 6th decade of his life (Memphis) of course. And as to be expected we traveled to the future and back to the days of the Pleistocenes. We discussed diamonds (he disdains their bloody toll) and the currency of smiles. At 87, Sotsass is still actively designing and commenting on life through his designs such as his pedestrian Roppongi Hills in Japan and the exclusive Zhaoqing Golf Resort in China. 

Photo by Luca Fregosi

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