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Industrial designer Richard Sapper was born in Munich in 1932. In 1959, he partnered with Italian designer Marco Zanuso; the two were hired as consultants for Brionvega to produce stylish electronics that would compete with Japan and Germany. They designed a series of radios and televisions that became enduring icons of the techno-functionalism aesthetic, particularly the rounded, compact, and portable Doney 14 (1962), the first television to feature completely transistorized construction.
Using sculptural minimalism, the pair also designed the folding Grillo telephone for Siemens and Italtel in 1965, one of the first telephones to put the dial and the earpiece on the same unit. Today, the Grillo is on display at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Winner of the 1959 Compasso d'Oro industrial design award, Sapper created the Tizio lamp for Artemide and the Melodic kettle for Alessi. Sapper designed portable computers for IBM in 1981, including the ThinkPad 770, and he continues today to influence the iconic ThinkPad brand design with Lenovo since it acquired the IBM PC Division in 2005. A&W Architektur & Wohnen named him Designer of the Year in 2005.