In addition to the backbone texts by Thomé are four enlightening essays by doyens of design commentators; Francesca Picchi, Deyan Sudjic, Emily King and Francesco Zanot. They succinctly describe the many facets of his experimentation, production and collaborations, for Sottsass kept himself busy and at the heart of design theory and practice throughout his life.
For me though, the plethora of photographs and drawings gathered here from Sottsass’s archive are the most spellbinding. Intimate family photographs, records of indigenous artisans taken whilst traveling the world and snaps depicting him with such luminaries as Picasso, Ernst, Dylon, Ginsberg, Newton and Maplethorpe illustrate his interest in a cross-section of mankind. I turned pages awestruck at the colour plates that record every aspect and stage of his works; initial sketches, through manufacturing, professional advertising shots and the posters, catalogues and invitations that he designed for his multitude of solo and group shows. Many of these spectacular images have never been seen before, and particularly striking are those of his earlier, more cruder works — the period that for me holds the most resonance.