The Ultrafragola mirror by Ettore Sottsass
This wavy mirror is a social media phenomenon, an Instagramable piece in its own right that you've probably met on the stories of your favorite influencers.
We find it for example at Lena Situation, and at many other international influencers besides like Marie Jedig in Denmark.
It is a wavy pink colored mirror. He has these wild lines that make us believe he was born for our time. So we will imagine of course that this mirror was made by a "millennial" or at least for the "millennial".
Well think again! This mirror was designed in the 1970s. The design of this mirror is therefore almost 50 years old. The designer of this mirror is called Ettore Sottsass.
The story of the architect - designer Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass is perhaps one of the most underrated artists of our time. Born in 1917 in Austria, his father being an architect, he insisted so that his son follows in his footsteps.
After studying of architecture in Italy, Ettore Sottsass began directly his professional career as an architect just after the Second World War.
At that time, we spoke of modernist design. We can think, for example, of the Eames chair. Designers therefore have new constraints: how to mass produce with less noble materials for the middle class.
For the design of its products, Ettore therefore started working for a company called Olivetti in the 1960s. The company created products mainly for offices. In fact, some of Ettore's early work was on typewriters.
His first design in 1969 was the Valentine typewriter. It was a kind of revolution for the time because it was very light and easily transportable. This machine is easily recognized by its bright red color. It was more than just a typewriter: it was a consumer product.
The history of Ultrafragola
In 1970, Ettore Sottsass designed for the first time the Ultrafragola, the mirror meaning Ultra Strawberry in Italian. It will take ten years for Sotsass to create a new artistic style in its own right of which the Ultrafragola mirror is part: the Memphis style.
The Ultrafragola was more than just a mirror. Its curved lines evoke a certain sensuality. Ettore and the Memphis movement more generally start from the premise that life is first perceived by the senses rather than the intellect.
The birth of Memphis Design
The idea of the Memphis movement is simple: to be radical, funny, outrageous and fundamentally become the opposite design of classic modernism of the time by using laminated plastic, asymmetrical colors or shapes…
In 1982, Memphis design went international with the opening of art galleries in Manhattan.