Stefan in "one of the most beautiful new buildings in the vicinity of my hometown in Austria, the Islamic Cemetery by Bernardo Bader in Altach." Image courtesy of Stefan's Instagram

What’s Stefan Sagmeister up to in 2019?

The designer, design commentator and Phaidon author is thinking small over the next 12 months

There aren’t many people who have won over both Mick Jagger and the Guggenheim Museum. But then again, there aren’t many people like Stefan Sagmeister.

The Austrian-born, New York-based designer has combined his hugely successful career working with such high profile clients as the Rolling Stones, Talking Heads and Lou Reed, with a more contemplative role, examining such deeply prized values such as happiness via exhibitions and books.

Stefan created his latest large-scale, discursive work, Beauty – a book and a show (on display at the MAK in Vienna until March) – with his creative partner Jessica Walsh. Yet, in 2019, he’s going back to the drawing board, quite literally. Read on to discover how he’s scaling things back, and how 2018 was for him.


A spread from Beauty
A spread from Beauty

What inspired you most in 2018? Most inspirational was working with so many people inside and outside of the studio on the exhibition and the book on Beauty. It seemed like the thing we should be working on. 

What annoyed you most in 2018? Not very original in its answer, I'd say it was our president.

What was your personal highlight of 2018? The opening of the exhibit on Beauty at the MAK in Vienna. To see it all come to life and light after two years of proper work was a very satisfying experience.

What can we expect from you in 2019? No big project, possibly just small, tiny things. Pencil drawings on A4 writing paper would qualify.

Who did you give your Phaidon book to for Xmas? Our book on Beauty was given to all my brothers and all my sisters and all my friends. Because it was pretty.



For more on Sagmeister and his beautiful and very clever reasoning, buy a copy of Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty here.