The iconic Post War designer Richard Sapper, has died in Italy age 83. Sapper (30 May 1932 – 31 December 2015) was best known for his famous Melodic Kettle designed for Alessi but he also created a host of other influential household objects from furniture to computers. Sapper was born and grew up in Germany during the war. He got his start designing for the German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.
Sapper emigrated to Milan in 1958, where he landed himself a position designing for architect Gio Ponti. He soon was sought out by the department store group La Rinascente, leading to work for the highly respected Alessi brand. His designs for espresso makers soon became a worldwide success story. At least fifteen of Sapper’s designs are now in the permanent collection of design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. They are also prominently desplayed at London’s Victoria and Albert and Design Museums. Sapper worked in collaboration with the Italian architect, Marco Zanuso, devolping the “Cubo” radio and “Doney” television sets for electronics company Brionvega.
Sapper also designed the first ThinkPad laptop after being appointed principal industrial design consultant to US computer giant IBM in 1980. He was also widely respected as a lecturer and educator with appointments at Yale, the University of Beijing and the Royal College of Art in London.