Richard Sapper was born in Munich, Germany in 1932, where he studied philosophy, graphic design, engineering and economics.
During his academic years, he decided to pursue a career in industrial design and upon completing his studies he joined the Mercedes-Benz design department in Stuttgart.
In 1958 Sapper moved to Milan and worked for Giovanni Ponti, Alberto Rosselli and later for the department store chain La Rinascente.
He initiated a part-time collaboration with Marco Zanuso, a relationship which lasted until 1977.
Together with Marco Zanuso he created radio and TV sets for Brionvega, the Grillo phone set for Siemens and various pieces of furniture, lamps etc.
Products from this period include the sheet metal chair "Lambda" (1963; for Gavina), the polyethylene child's seat "K 1340" (1964; for Kartell).
Richard Sapper worked as a consultant with Fiat on experimental cars and with Pirelli on tire design from 1970 to 1976.
In the 1980's Sapper has been in charge of worldwide product design for the IBM Corporation.
His work includes objects that have become design classics such as the Artemide lamp "Tizio" (1970) and the melodic kettle "9091 Bollitore" for Alessi (1982).
His prime interest is the design of technically complex objects, from ships to watches.
Combining innovation and traditional and cited as the man "who has never done a bad design", this free spirited craftsman has designed items that have altered the course of design history.
Sapper received numerous international prizes, amongst others six times the Compasso d'Oro, two times the Gute-Form-Preis (1969 and 1983).
His clients include Alessi, Artemide, Castelli, Comforto, IBM, and Knoll International.
Numerous Richard Sapper products are exhibited in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as other Design Museums worldwide.