Ettore Sottsass “Oltre il Design” at CSAC, Parma

Ettore Sottsass Junior, Scuola elementare a otto aule, Siliqua, 1951-52
Courtesy CSAC


The CSAC – Centro Studi e Archivio della comunicazione of the University of Parma presents Ettore Sottsass. Beyond Design. The exhibition is curated in close collaboration with a working group composed by historians in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art, designers and archivists.

In 1979, Ettore Sottsass donated over 14,000 project materials (sketches and drawings) and 24 sculptures to the CSAC. In occasion of Sottsass’ birth centennial, departing from this precious donation, CSAC promotes an exhibition and an editorial project with the patronage of the Municipality of Parma.

The extensive and intense work of cataloging and digitizing the entire fund is displayed in the catalog Ettore Sottsass. 1922-1978 (Silvana editoriale, 2017), published in occasion of the exhibition Ettore Sottsass. Beyond Design. The exhibition includes approximately 700 pieces selected from the archive and installed according to a chronological narrative structure. From a premature design dated 1922, it follows some visual and methodological constants of the author. The exhibition title refers to Sottsass’ practice, which overrides the specificity of his work as designer towards a wider vision, in which design functions both as a tool and above all as reflection moment and formal verification.

The exhibition and catalog have been developed by a working group comprising several scholars and researchers, from different institutions and areas of interest. This working group has been focusing on the multifaceted  aspects within Sottsass lifelong practice: amongst others jewelry design, ceramics, interior and products design; Sottsass’ encounter with beat and radical culture, as well as his relationship with Poltronova; the various editorial projects and collaborations with historical brands–such as Ivrea, Bitossi Ceramiche and so on.

Ettore Sottsass Junior, Disegno per Il pianeta come festival, 1972
Courtesy CSAC


Ettore Sottsass Junior, Senza Titolo
(Esame di architettura degli interni al Politecnico di Torino, 1939-40)
Courtesy CSA


Ettore Sottsass Junior, Stazione nuova piazza Vittorio, Senza data (1934-39)
Courtesy CSAC


Ettore Sottsass Junior, Studi per grafica, Senza data (1947)
(Progetto per grafica editoriale per Cocktails Portfolio, edizione Stamperia Artistica Nazionale, Torino)
Courtesy CSAC


Ettore Sottsass. Oltre il design
18 November, 2017 – 8 April, 2018

CSAC – Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione
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