My turn to be chronologically challenged! Thanks for pointing that out. I think of Memphis & Sotsass together, and I hadn’t realized (or perhaps remembered) that the actual Memphis group didn’t begin until 1981. But it does seem like a continuity with Sotsass’s earlier work, the very work that you were highlighting.
Anyway, all I really wanted to point out was the it was quite a generalization to talk about the two styles as “Italian design” and “German design.”
My parents bought me an Olivetti Lettera 22 when I went off to college; I carried it with me to France, because it was so light and had its own sleek case, and I kept using it until the early 1970s. I had no idea at the time that it was a design icon; I wouldn’t even have known what a design icon was. But it was a very useful typewriter.
When I saw one suspended in a vitrine at SFMOMA a couple of years ago, it gave me a very peculiar feeling. Sort of like seeing the kitchen utensils you grew up with in an antique store; but different.