This series of photographs was taken during a trip by Sottsass, at the time fascinated by the desert, to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Almeria, Grenada) and the Pyrenees. His “metaphors” are ephemeral constructions he built in the landscape before photographing them, taking on the stance of a conceptual artist or one of Land Art. During this period, Sottsass was questioning the act of building as well as the underpinnings of industrial culture. He then abandoned this artistic production to focus on writing and design. His “constructions” are a sort of “study of the language of architecture” (Barbara Radice), on the link between oneself and the physical environment. These temporary structures are composed of humble and fragile elements, bits of string, wood, ribbons, leaves, rocks, bits of clothing, etc., referring to the precariousness of things. Sottsass wrote: “I felt a deep necessity to visit deserted places, mountains, to establish a new physical relationship with the cosmos, which is the only environment there is, precisely because it cannot be measured, anticipated, controlled or known...” These photographs are a part of his “microscopic gestures” and “elementary actions” that Ettore Sottsass was advocating at the time. Each photograph has a title and a theme, questioning, often from a childlike point of view, “the relationships that exist between people, thoughts and the space they occupy” (B. Radice). In 1976, Sottsass exhibited this series of photographs for the first time at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum à New York.