A conversation with Klaus Nienkämper Sr. helped Lee Fletcher, an industrial designer and co-founder of Fig40, to clarify his approach to design. The long-time furniture manufacturer told Fletcher that he didn’t like the Aeron chair, a lauded classic. Its hard edges knocked against tables – occasionally those from Nienkämper’s own collection – causing dents and damage.
Fletcher’s takeaway from this conversation with the manufacturing great: design needs to be neighbourly; things must interact well with other things. Add to that approachability and elementality (or “engagingness” and material composition) and you’ve got Fig40’s philosophy – three pillars, like a simple stool. Terence Woodside, Fletcher’s partner in Fig40, agrees, but articulates it with an engineer’s brevity: “Everything can be better.”
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