“Exercise” is the result of Robert Stadler’s work on volume and matter and reveals his taste for manipulation and optical illusion. The distinctive sign is in the choice of material, an African marble with a regular stripe motif that inspires the architectural lines of the volumes. The surface is swept with an abstract minimal motif that is so regular that we might be led to believe it was computer generated. This natural design miracle provides a blurred, gradual shift from white to black. The composition moves harmoniously from one surface to another in a pictorial and graphic fusion. The material pushed to the limits of its finesse mutates into a light filled cage. To serve this material, Robert Stadler invented a family of shapes that originates from the drawing of a stool. The shapes are already present in his wood repertoire, but here he develops a variation of this typology and makes it undergo particular mutations in order to serve other functions (coffee table and couch). He moves from construction to deconstruction, experimenting with the evolution of the shape from a cardboard model to a 3D representation. The elements of these trompe l’oeil pieces are so architectural they seem to refer to origami, as they are made of sections stuck and arranged together, pushing the reference even further. This creates a subtle alchemy between nature and architecture.
Robert Stadler was born in Vienna in 1966. The designer has always been drawn to the details of objects and the narratives they evoke. He studied design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan before attending the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris in the late 1980s. He has continued to work in Paris ever since.
In 1992 Stadler co-founded the RADI Designers collective, whose varied practice revolved around the marriage of the everyday and the unusual. Stadler began to work on solo projects in 2002, though he continued to collaborate with RADI until the studio’s dissolution in 2008.
Stadler’s interests encompass both what he terms “aristocratic design” and objects typically deemed vulgar or absurd; he explores the possibilities for building bridges between the apparently incompatible. He is involved in furniture making, product, interaction design, art installations, and multimedia ac-tivities. He frequently questions objects’ established identities.
His furniture tends to both convey and destroy preconceived notions of what an object should be. Although works such as his Possible Furniture series may at times appear haphazard, they are perfectly constructed to fulfill their ergonomic purpose.