San Francisco-based Robert Springer began his industrial design career nearly 20 years ago and early on found himself working at IBM for 8 years under the direction of design legend Richard Sapper. He went on to design for Samsung before partnering up in 2007 with his wife, Nicole, to launch their own furniture company, Spot On Square. Being at the helm of his own company allows Springer to build modern and innovative home furnishings while keeping them eco-friendly using sustainable materials. See what keeps this award-winning designer on his toes, in this week’s Friday Five.

Friday Five with Robert Springer of Spot On Square in home furnishings  Category

Left: Photo source; Right: Photo source

1. The prolific work of Richard Sapper. I had the privilege of working with Richard early in my career when I was an Industrial Designer at IBM. He was quite influential in helping me develop my sensibilities around how I approach design. Although his work covers a broad range and almost everything he did is masterful, these are two of my favorites. The Tizio lamp designed for Artemide. This was designed in 1972 yet still stands as timeless and the Brionvega TV designed by Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso. This was designed in 1962 but looks as cool today as I’m sure it did then.

Friday Five with Robert Springer of Spot On Square in home furnishings  Category

2. I’m really into shoes and I’m continually buying new ones, but there’s only one pair that I have stuck with. I’ve worn Vans since I was a 13-year-old skater. Although I don’t skate too often anymore, they are still my shoe of choice to wear casually. I’ve landed on this classic slip-on style and now continually buy this same pair over and over. I love the no laces/easy to put on and that they work with just about anything I choose to wear.

3. The Braun exhibit at the SFMoma. This was no doubt one of the best exhibits I’ve had the chance to see. I am continually inspired by the work that Dieter Rams did and have, throughout my career, seen this as one of the most successful corporate design stories in history. The consistency of design excellence that came through under the direction of Rams is something that is unmatched by any company since.

4. When my wife Nicole and I were looking for a home for our family, we were excited to be able to purchase an Eichler in the Bay area. Joseph Eichler worked with architects in the 50’s through the 70’s to build mid-century modern homes. The home is architecturally clean and something that we knew we would be inspired by on a daily basis. Many of my neighbors are in the design industry so it’s proven to be a dynamic and inspiring place to live.

Friday Five with Robert Springer of Spot On Square in home furnishings  Category

5. Going on walks with my wife and kids. Our home backs up to open space hills and the trails. The hiking options in our area are awesome. I often go out exploring with the kids hiking throughout the hills. They provide me the opportunity to clear my head and spend some time with my kids. We have great talks and undistracted time together as a family.