The Importance of an Initial Sketch

28th July 2022

In this article, one of our leading designers, Martin Ballendat, has explained how he came to create one of his bestselling designs, the UP Chair, from an initial sketch.

Martin Ballendat, of Design Ballendat:

‘I have always loved creating sketches at the beginning of the design process, as it is my passion. When I approach a new project, it can sometimes take me over a hundred sketches to find a solution, and at other times, it can only take a few minutes. But once I have determined my sketch, and that excited feeling in my stomach begins to twirl, I know I have mastered it.

I always felt that a good idea must come to my mind straight away, but then I discovered the following rule: ‘the right idea – at the right time – for the right customer’. In my studio we work to our own timelines, often without any briefing at all. I believe creativity works best without restrictions, where we can all think freely.

This was the case with the UP chair. The sketch was created, and the design was offered to Tonon, which was met with much enthusiasm. My studio managed the prototype until the end of October 2011. Tonon then introduced the UP chair during a presentation in January 2012 at IMM (The International Furniture and Interiors Fair) Cologne.

This was all due to the UP chair being ‘the right idea – at the right time – for the right customer’, and the success that followed was all born from a beautiful initial sketch.’

Shop the UP Chair here:

Initial Sketch
Final Design