Richard Sapper: Farewell to a design legend

January 2016

Luminaire says farewell to German industrial designer Richard Sapper who passed away on December 31, 2015 at age 83. Sapper is widely regarded as one of the most important designers of his generation for his innate ability to integrate ideas of design, engineering and technology to create products with superb elegance and simplicity. Sapper designed a wide variety of products ranging from ships and cars, to computers and electronics, and furniture and kitchen appliances. Some of his most recognized products include the Tizio desk lamp for Artemide, the ThinkPad range of laptops for IBM, and the 9091 whistling kettle for Alessi.

A good friend of Luminaire, Richard Sapper joined Luminaire Chicago in 2005 for a captivating lecture and presented his new creation, Halley, a collection of LED Lighting. The luminaire family will miss Richard Sapper dearly and will forever cherish Sapper for his extraordinary talent that changed the course of design history.

Born in Munich in 1932, Sapper relocated to Milan in 1958 and joined the offices of architect Gio Ponti. His creations exude a fusion of German and Italian design of the late 20th century, both rational and emotional clearly reflecting the Germany he was born in, and the vibrant Italy he moved to with its post-war enthusiasm.

Many of Sapper’s products are part of the permanent collections of the world’s most prominent design museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and the V&A museum in London. Sapper received several accolades such as 10 prestigious Compasso d’Oro awards, the Raymond Loewy Foundation’s Lucky Strike award, among others.