Widely known and celebrated as the founder and leader of the revolutionary design collective the Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass brought the language of poetry and painting into design and architecture. His iconic works embodied his philosophy that good design ought to be as sensual and evocative as it is functional. With close ties to those members of the Californian Beat Generation, Sottsass lived the life of the Bohemian Renaissance man, travelling frequently (his favorite country was India, whose spiritual depth resonated and inspired him deeply), and always exploring different modes of visual expression, be they photography, painting, graphic design, or ceramics.
In 1999, he was awarded the Sir Misha Black award and was added to the College of Medallists, and in 2006, received his first major museum survey exhibition at LACMA. Since then, Sottsass has been the subject of museum retrospectives as intitutions including the Met Breuer, and the Design Museum in London. His design objects and drawings are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Design Museum in London, the Vitra Design Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Stedelijk Museum.