Interview by Pavlos Amperiadis
Marc Sapetti — the head behind the up-and-coming, award-winning design studio Sapetti, based in Switzerland — discloses to Global Design News inspiring design projects, knowledge, and experience on how to create a good design.
Having graduated in Industrial Design, Marc Sapetti has since worked in a variety of renowned studios across several cities such as Andorra, Barcelona, and London before starting his own company, Sapetti, in 2011 in Switzerland.
Marc took every opportunity to work in various countries and learn from new experiences. By absorbing diverse cultures and understanding different perspectives, Marc was able to develop a human-centric approach to design.
His polyvalent and hands-on approach to design and holistic project management has led him to work on an array of projects with well-known brands like for Lufthansa, Steelcase, Leica, to name a few.
Sapetti SA has received many an award for their ingenuity and innovation from international institutions and has been recently awarded with a 2022 Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I don’t actively seek it out
GDN: As the founder of Sapetti SA and the lead designer, what is the unique point that makes the practice differentiate itself in the market?
Marc: I would say it’s our End-To-End product development expertise while being a compact design studio.
We offer a comprehensive suite of services, including design, user-experience, engineering, and manufacturing, at a more affordable cost than what is typically offered by larger corporations.
This is a critical advantage for start-ups and spin-off companies looking to bring innovative ideas to life.
GDN: You are a recent 2022 Good Design Award winner but have also won years before in 1999 with the Move-It Table Series. How does this accreditation of your work assist in making your design studio progress and evolve and how does it help you personally as a designer?
Marc: Winning a design award, such as the Good Design Award, has a positive impact on the team and clients, fostering a sense of unity and pride. It also increases sales and visibility of the awarded product, which indirectly benefits the studio.
GDN: Are sustainability and recyclability paramount in the design industry in your point of view? What is Sapetti studio’s methodology on these concepts?
Marc: In all our projects, we encourage our clients to consider reducing the environmental impact of their products and processes.
We do this by educating them and showing them alternative solutions that can be achieved with minimal effort.
Our approach is practical, focusing on solutions that are tangible and achievable, such as material selection and reduction, efficient transport, and process optimization.
Also my wife, who works in sustainable finance, provides additional insights and opportunities that benefit both the environment and our clients’ businesses.
GDN: What makes a design good? What makes a design better than others?
Marc: For me, there’s a difference between a “good design” and a “beautiful design.” A good design is one that balances three key aspects: it meets its purpose, makes life easier or more comfortable, and feels good in your hands.
Each of these aspects has a different impact, whether emotional or physical. A well-balanced product is not only desirable, but also one that you’ll want to use and keep for a long time.
We are currently working with Cavaletti S.A. developing a new range of office chairs that will bring some disruptive innovation to the market
GDN: Where do you find your inspiration? Which projects of Sapetti Studio can be described as the most inspired?
Marc: Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I don’t actively seek it out.
I work on a variety of projects from different markets, and I’m constantly exposed to details, materials, and solutions that can be applied in other areas.
One example is the Chairless Chair. It was initially a complex mechatronic system, but during a brainstorming session, I suggested making it simpler, like an office chair with a gas lift.
At that moment we were developing the Cavaletti Idea office chair. The result was a complete redesign that was much more user-friendly, cost efficient, and reliable.
Our approach is practical, focusing on solutions that are tangible and achievable
GDN: ‘Human-centricity’ is a discourse that circulates a lot in the design industry in the last years. What does it mean for your practice and creative process?
Marc: Indeed, “Human-centricity” is a hot topic in the design industry, in fact we say we specialize in human-centric ergonomic products. But for us, we feel it is an inherent aspect of our design process.
To create a new product, we need to understand how it will be used, how it relates to different users, and the complete journey of the product.
Without this understanding, we’d be designing blindly. During the creative process, we talk to users, immerse ourselves and go in-depth into their world to create a better product.
We do this by educating them and showing them alternative solutions that can be achieved with minimal effort
GDN: In your studio’s design concepts one can find everything from medical products and exoskeletons to furniture. Is furniture design evolving? Is it possibly obsolete being an exclusive furniture designer in your opinion?
Marc: Throughout my career, I’ve been involved in furniture design, but it only accounts for about 1/3 of my projects.
I feel that innovation in furniture design is limited and focuses too much on aesthetics, rather than being a “good design.”
However, I enjoy being involved in this market as it provides valuable inspiration and solutions that bring a more human and pleasant feel to my other products.
We are currently developing a new range of office chairs that will bring some disruptive innovation to the market
GDN: Last, are there any new and upcoming design projects that you would like to reveal to our readers?
Marc: We are currently working with Cavaletti S.A., developing a new range of office chairs that will bring some disruptive innovation to the market.
We anticipate these chairs will be available by Summer 2024.
Images courtesy of Sapetti SA