Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917, he enrolled in the faculty of architecture of the Polytechnic of Turin, where he graduated in 1939. Enlisted during the Second World War, he was imprisoned across the border for about six years, before returning to Italy once free in 1947. In 1957 he became Art Director of Poltronova, while in 1958 he began his long collaboration with Olivetti, as a design consultant: this earned him numerous awards, including three Compassi d'Oro awards. In 1980 he founded Memphis, whose aim is "to give objects a symbolic, emotional and ritual depth". Then comes the Ettore Sottsass Associati studio, which includes Cibic, Thun, Zanini and Marabelli. Ettore Sottsass passed away in Milan on December 31 2007, at the age of ninety after having received many awards and recognitions.