words Johanna Agerman
“They’re like your babies,” says Rolf Sachs of his limited-edition designs for the Take 2 exhibition at Phillips de Pury, London last month. “It’s sad to see them go, you build up a relationship with the pieces.”
The comparison to babies is somehow fitting – Sachs’ forte is the ability to imbue inanimate objects with anthropomorphic attributes or a certain personality. His Tailor Made chair in merino felt, for instance, appears shy to the point of pathetic. The Spitting Image dining table and chairs are the most striking in the series – cast from amber-coloured urethane resin, they exude a warmth and light that is uncanny.
Since the London-based designer began making work 20 years ago (Sachs was previously an investment banker), he has been consistently inspired by objects of great simplicity. A basic office chair that he came across in the 1990s, which he calls the “Frankfurt Administration chair”, inspired the forms of both the Tailor Made piece as well as one of the Spitting Image chairs. He has recently found another archetype to work with – the plastic “pizzeria” chair – which inspired Second Thoughts. Made in fibreglass, its edges are rough and unfinished, a quality Sachs cherishes in a world of design he deems too clean and sterile.
“If it is art or design is really not interesting to me,” says Sachs. “I’m interested in creating emotion in the pieces and then people can decide for themselves what they want to call it.”
images Byron Slater
top image Spitting Image dining table and chairs
Second Thoughts chair
Tailor Made chair