Milan-based French furniture designer Marc Sadler is, at heart, an artist who loves nothing more than sketching every soft wrinkle of a human face. Yet, even as a child, he knew the profession wasn’t financially rewarding enough for him to make a career out of it. He instead studied industrial design that combined art and technology before finding work in the field, designing sports gear for which weight and material strength are paramount.

In town to debut his lamp collection for premium Italian lighting company Foscarini, he shares how he has found peace with this dichotomy and even won the prestigious Compasso d’Oro – the oldest design award in Europe – for his creations. “My whole life, I have this dilemma of being a technical guy, very pragmatic and analytical. On the other side, I’m a very good designer – I like art, I paint,” he says.

So integral is this balance to him that he describes it as his design philosophy. “It’s the connection between all the projects I have done – the back and forth between art and technology.” His elongated lamps display a streamlined aesthetic whose simple, solid colours are counterpointed with mesh details.

The 67-year-old designer adds: “It was a good combination for the lamp field with Foscarini where I could express that very well.” After all, a lamp, as compared to other furnishings like tables or chairs, requires technical knowledge in terms of electrical wiring or materials that can withstand heat, yet allowing enough light to pass through.

“It’s not an invisible object, it’s a strong statement. It has to be graceful and give a lot of warmth when switched on, and beautiful when switched off,” he explains. “So that required a lot, both technical knowledge and an artistic vision. Put it together and I feel right at home.”

Foscarini lamps are available at Xtra, #01-01/02-01 Park Mall.