Ettore Sottsass Jr. and the earliest Olivetti computers design

This short essay aims to reconstruct the history of the earliest Olivetti computers: the evolution of Elea series (1955-1965) designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Andries Van Onck. The main focus is Elea 9002, winner of Premio Compasso d’Oro for industrial design in 1959, and Elea 9003, the very first Italian transistor mainframe computer. The article also presents the latter models (Elea 6001, 4001, 9104). Moreover, it briefly outlines the innovative symbols system specifically designed for Olivetti computers by Tomás Maldonado and Gui Bonsiepe at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm.