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Richard Sapper

Biographies
Richard Sapper

*  1932 München

The German industrial designer Richard Sapper is a leading 20th-century designer. Born in Munich in 1932, he attended university there between 1952 and 1954. In 1956 Richard Sapper worked briefly in the design division at Mercedes Benz before going to Milan, where he worked with Alberto Rosselli and Gio Ponti and became a designer in the design division of the La Rinascente department store chain. From 1958 Richard Sapper was employed in the practice of Marco Zanuso. Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso continued their prolific collaboration until 1977, creating extraordinarily innovative furniture, lamps, and electrical appliances. The "Lambda" chair they designed for Gavina dates from 1959-1964 and is made of diecast steel. For Kartell, Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper designed the "4999/S" (1961-1964) stackable children's chair of pressure-molded polyethelene. For Brionvega they designed the "TS502" (1964) radio that opens up and the "Doney" (1964), "Algol" (1965), and "Black Box" (1969) portable televisions. In 1966 Zanuso and Sapper designed the "Grillo" telephone for Siemens. In 1970 Richard Sapper opened a design practice in Stuttgart. For Artemide Richard Sapper designed "Tizio", an enormously successful high-tech work lamp (1972). In 1983 Richard Sapper designed the "Bollitore" whistling kettle for Alessi. In the 1970s, Richard Sapper served as a design consultant to Fiat and Pirelli and, from 1980, IBM. For IBM Richard Sapper aalso designed the world-beating Thinkpad laptops. Richard Sapper has been a visiting lecturer many times. In 1986 he became a professor at the Stuttgart Art Academy.