Originally from Germany, Sara trained as a goldsmith before applying her understanding of material properties to the world of product design. "I think you still see a bit of that influence in my work," she explains. "I've learnt how materials behave and so I don't want to force a material into a certain shape - I want to work with the right material for the right product."
The designer still takes a hands-on approach to developing her ideas, rapidly producing paper models to test concepts and iterate forms. "I think to fold a sheet of paper is the easiest way to design," she says. "You don't even need a pen to sketch anything - you just need a sheet of paper in your hands and you can visualise a lot of ideas quite fast."
Designing and making in London
At her London studio, Sara moves between a jeweller's workbench in one corner, where she produces tiny accurate maquettes of her designs, and a workshop at the other end of the space where she uses a series of formers to fold sheets of aluminium into full-size prototypes.
She shares this workspace with three other independent designers, located in the brick warehouse of a former peanut-packing factory in Bow - a district in the east of the city that hosts a knot of creative studios in disused industrial buildings close to the Olympic park.
After training as a goldsmith, Sara went on to study applied art and design in Düsseldorf. The designer's first collection grew out of her award-winning graduation project, entitled The Simple Things, in which she sought the simplest possible method of creating a piece of furniture. The resulting designs are made by putting just four folds in a single sheet of aluminium.
Following critical success with this debut, Sara decided to establish her own company to produce and distribute the products herself. Each piece is manufactured by a small firm in Vienna. "You have to pick carefully who will make the product, the level of quality and how it will be sold," she says. "That's what I like about producing it myself - having the control over all these things."
I think to fold a sheet of paper is the easiest way to design. You don't even need a pen to sketch anything - you just need a sheet of paper in your hands.