ROBERT STADLER WON WITH TEPHRA IRREGULAR BOMB SOFA THE “PRIX POUR L’INTELLIGENCE DE LA MAIN” OF THE LILIANE BETTENCOURT FOUNDATION IN 2012
A fragmented installation that ploughs the same furrow as Pools and pouf! (2004). Tephra suggests an ash-coloured telluric landscape; the ensemble is inspired by nature and more precisely by vulcanology. The bombs mentioned in the titles of the pieces refer, not to offensive weapons, but to the viscous matter ejected by a volcano that hits land forming random shapes. Taking his inspiration from these natural ejections, Robert Stadler proposed a complex set-up, he designed a sort of functional island entitled Irregular bomb that fulfils varioussitting needs that are, paradoxically, very carefully designed and ergonomic combining sofa, chaise longue and rug. This playground produces a new attitude, spacesharing, a cohabitation of desires. The other ejected residues that form the coffee table Trapezoid bomb, the armchair Spherical bomb, the stool Triangular bomb and the little sofa Drop bomb confirm the illusion that the will of the designer bowed down to the imperious energy of nature as the shapes seem to be born of chaos and the unexpected. Whether it be regarded as an “installation” or as “furniture”, the piece renews the notion of use and throws down the gauntlet to the strict Janseism of the moderns.
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.