Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory at ICA

Frida Escobedo designs Ettore Sottsass exhibition at ICA Miami

Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has designed pink plinths and screens to showcase the work of Memphis group founder Ettore Sottsass in this retrospective exhibition at Miami's Institute of Contemporary Art.

Escobedo's layout of Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory, which features five-decades of work created by the late Italian architect and designer, alludes to "Sottsass' own engagement with screens and room partition," according to ICA Miami.

Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory at ICA

Large scrim walls – made up of hessian and a metallic frame – divide up the large, open-plan gallery, while allowing natural light and views.

Sottsass' work is then arranged atop platforms that are either pink to match the colour of the partitions or white to match the gallery walls.

Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory at ICA

The showcase looks back at Sottsass' work according to the social and economic contexts in which it was created. Escobedo's partitions create four sections that arrange these chronologically, including the economic prosperity of Italy after the second world war, the 1960s and 1970s, the 1980s and "contemporary conditions".

Visitors enter the exhibit into the 1960s and 70s section, which features his boldy coloured and patterned ceramic totems alongside the striped cabinets known as Superboxes.

Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory at ICA

Large openings in the gridded partitions allow visitors to move around the space into later portions of history. Among these is the 1980s comprising furniture designs for avant-garde group Studio Alchimia.

Sottsass' projects for his design group Memphis, which he founded in 1980, also features here. Based in Milan, the group responded to simple style of modernism with playful shapes and hues that are associated with postmodernism.

The final portion of the exhibit collates the late architect and designer's works created from the 1990s up until his death in 2007.

Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory at ICA

Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory exhibition runs from 18 April to 6 October 2019 at the ICA, which moved into the building in the city's Design District in 2017. It forms the first of a new series at the museum that aim to focus on "postwar and contemporary design and its relationship to contemporary art".

ICA Miami's exhibition would have coincided with another major showcase of Sottsass' work at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum, however this was cancelled following a disagreement between the architects' representatives and the cultural institution.

Ettore Sottsass and the Social Factory at ICA

Escobedo set up her Mexico City studio in 2003. In recent years she has achieved international success, with accomplishments that include her being the youngest architect to design the prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.

This year, Dezeen produced an exclusive movie series featuring the architect, in which she describes how she fell into the profession and the architecture scene in her home country.