Martino Gamper, Great Britain (*1972)
5 products of 2 manufacturers.
Gamper moved to London in 1997 to study at the Royal College of Art and has lived in the city ever since. At the College he forged connections across departments, most importantly meeting members of the nascent graphic design collective Åbäke, now his regular collaborators, in the letterpress studio, all of them attracted by the physicality of wooden type and the craft involved in its setting. Gamper has a thorough understanding of design history embedded in the process of making. He knows that to craft a joint in this way or that is not simply a practical choice, but one laden with meaning. Remaking the furniture of Gio Ponti as a performance at Design Basel in 2007, his gestures were playful, but their ramifications were felt. Addressing a more mainstream understanding of the discipline, Gamper aspires to making an industrially produced chair. Cliché though it is, it remains the definitive design problem, and, individual though he is, Gamper is not immune from this kind of injunction. Until now, he has been working mainly in contexts created by his curiosity or generated by his extreme sociability, but of course, with his current success, those circumstances are likely to expand and become less familiar. Right now Gamper seems to be poised on a cusp: tracing his ad hoc course up to this point has been fascinating, watching his trajectory over the next few years promises to be even more so.