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Ettore Sottsass is known the world over as one of the initiators of the revolution in architecture and design which led away from the rigid functionalism of the years following the Second World War. Born in Innsbruck, Austria in 1917, he grew up in Milan with his architect father before pursuing design on his own. An influential maestro of Italian design, Sottsass stood out for the energy of his artistic language and the vitality of his color and line, which contrasted sharply with intellectualism and rigidity of the design world of the time.