A new talk series at Sir John Soane’s Museum, in partnership with Luke Irwin, in which leading figures from across the world of design discuss their practice through a single object. In our second talk, Alice Rawsthorn talks to designer Martino Gamper.
In this new series, Sir John Soane’s Museum invites a range of practitioners from various design disciplines to select an object that has inspired them in some way, and through it discuss and dissect their own design practice. Inspired by Sir John Soane’s own extraordinary collection, and co-hosted by Will Gompertz, Arts Editor at the BBC, and Alice Rawsthorn, design writer and critic, the series will reflect on the power of objects – large or small, mundane or exceptional, aesthetic or utilitarian – to spark new ideas, and act as a spur for different forms of creativity. Speakers include Peter Saville, Martino Gamper, David Adjaye, Es Devlin, Edmund de Waal and Olga Polizzi.
Martino Gamper’s practice spans design and art venues, engaging in a variety of projects from exhibition design, interior design, one-off commissions and the design of mass-produced products for the cutting edge of the international furniture industry. Gamper started as an apprentice with a furniture maker in Merano and went on to study sculpture under Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. He completed a Masters in 2000 from the Royal College of Art, London, where he studied under Ron Arad. Gamper has presented his works and projects internationally, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, V&A Museum, London, MIMOCA, Marugame, Japan, Palais De Tokyo, Paris, Museo del Risorgimento, Torino, Italy, The Modern Institute and the London Design Festival commission. Gamper was the recipient of the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art in 2011, and the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, Furniture Award in 2008 for his project ‘100 Chairs in 100 days’.
Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and the author of the critically acclaimed books, Design as an Attitude and Hello World: Where Design Meets Life. Her weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. Alice speaks on design at important global events including TED and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Born in Manchester and based in London, Alice is chair of the boards of trustees of The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery in Yorkshire and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company. A founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign to champion human rights and freedoms, Alice has been awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts.