One of the most interesting interview we had during Salone del Mobile 2015 was definitely the one to Marc Sadler at Foscarini showroom, the renown French industrial designer based in Milan who won four Compasso D’Oro awards in his career, and who realized the first ski boot in thermoplastic material totally recyclable during the 70s for the Italian company Caber. Marc Sadler has traveled a lot during his life, working in different part of the world, experimenting plastic materials especially for the sport sector. His long experience in a part of the industry where experimentation of new materials and new ways of production is crucial, allowed him to export an innovative know-how in fields where the concept of design is limited to the aesthetic form.
What is the biggest difference between designing abroad and in Italy?
I worked several years in Taiwan where I could appreciate the industrial techniques and their efficient way of production, but when I decided to realize a furniture piece using industrial materials, such as composite, I came back to Europe, and that because even if abroad the mind towards innovation is open, and a there are strong technical skills, at the same time there is a lack of cultural references to develop a design product from the very beginning. Moreover, here, I had to invest a lot of energies in order to see my project become real, but after many closed doors I found who believed in my product and gave me the opportunity to see it realized.
How important are the manual skills in the creation of a design product?
They are important in the first phase of giving shape to your idea, the craftsman brings out the idea, and the industry develops it, because that is the sector open to new ideas, where innovation can get in easily. For example Twiggy for Foscarini comes out from the idea of a fisherman, I made a small sculpture with my own hands purely for fun, and then I decided to translate it into a real lamp, in Twiggy, using materials such as PMMA and polycarbonate.
Last but not less important, is there anything you consider fundamental for your designer’s activity?
A crucial role in my works has always been played by my wife Paola, her opinions and pieces of advice have always helped the development of my design products, and of my profession.
We are really happy to have had the chance to make this interview, where we could see how a great passion, a big love, and a deep design culture could be so crucial in a famous designer’s work and life.