Monday, March 24, 2014

Ettore Sottsass' Colorful Indian Influence

photos by Vincent Leroux, Architectural Digest

These colorful photographs from the French edition of Architectural Digest have been popping up everywhere of late, and my impatience for an end to the winter blahs makes them perfect for sharing. Reaching back to the depths of my memory for the French I so seldom use, I deciphered that the author wrote this article after encountering an inordinate number of building in southern India that reminded him of Ettore Sottsass' architecture.

The Italian Sottsass was known for founding the Memphis Group, a  post-modern design studio that gained fame for its flamboyant home furnishings in the '80s. Meanwhile, Sottsass was working on large scale architectural projects as part of Sottsass Associati. While the AD writer first assumed that the bold buildings pictured above were inspired by Sottsass' work, he soon discovered quite the opposite: The earliest of these vibrant, geometric homes in Tamil Nadu date back to 1940, and it was Sottsass' travels in India that came to influence his design aesthetic.

So, what were the results? Take a look at some buildings by Sottsass Associati...

Casa Olabuenaga, Maui, Hawaii (1989-1997)

Casa Cei, Italy (1991-1993)

Casa Wolf, Colorado (1987-1989)

Casa Mourmans, Belgium (1999)

Singapore Village, Jasmine Hill, Singapore (2000)
[all via Sottsass Associati]

The similarities are undeniable, though there's something infinitely warmer in the Indian designs, no?

1 comment:

  1. The Indian designs are so colourful and beautiful, if you lived there it would surely put a smile on your face when you got home every day from work.