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Martin Ballendat

Martin Ballendat believes “design is art that is made useful.” The description isn’t surprising given the German designer’s engineering background and creative process. After a few initial drawings, he prototypes his proposed solutions, physically experimenting with their 3D forms to work through ideas and structural challenges. Ballendat has designed numerous types of furnishings since founding his eponymous studio in 1995, but seating remains his favorite. “A chair is almost like a sitting or kneeling creature who has a soul,” he says of the attraction.