Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece

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By Dwell and Allie Weiss
A new monograph celebrates the late German industrial designer.

Over the course of his career, esteemed industrial designer Richard Sapper, who passed away in Milan in December, produced countless designs for a range of top brands, including Kartell, Knoll, IBM, and Artemide. His work scaled from small home electronics, such as hairdryers and coffee grinders, to cars for Fiat. His oeuvre, displayed in an upcoming Phaidon monograph, reveals his distinct knack for adding an aesthetic bent to high-performing objects. In many ways, this combination of form and function encapsulates the demands of the modern consumer.  Take a look at some highlights here.

Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece - Photo 1 of 6 - IBM Upright Typewriter Prototype, IBM, 1981.

IBM Upright Typewriter Prototype, IBM, 1981.

Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece - Photo 2 of 6 - K 1340, Polyethylene children's chair designed by Marco Zanuso, Kartell, 1964.

K 1340, Polyethylene children's chair designed by Marco Zanuso, Kartell, 1964.

Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece - Photo 3 of 6 - 4060, Coffee and tea set, Alessi, 1982.

4060, Coffee and tea set, Alessi, 1982.

Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece - Photo 4 of 6 - Zoombike, folding bicycle, Elettromontaggi, 2000.

Zoombike, folding bicycle, Elettromontaggi, 2000.

Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece - Photo 5 of 6 - Hairdryer, La Rinascente, 1959.

Hairdryer, La Rinascente, 1959.

Only Richard Sapper Could Turn the Hairdryer Into a Masterpiece - Photo 6 of 6 - Phaidon's monograph, edited by Jonathan Olivares, is available for pre-order now.

Phaidon's monograph, edited by Jonathan Olivares, is available for pre-order now.