What’s German metal sculptor and photographer Rainer Lagemann’s personal philosophy? He shares the best piece of advice he’s ever heard, what inspires him and a couple of life lessons.
by Melody Bay  /   October 9, 2020

What is your design style?
The design style in my surroundings is very much influenced by the late 1990s and early 2000s – experimental, generous, whimsical and surprising. Less is more. Hence, shapes and lines have to be clean yet purposeful. For me, the quality of materials and the satisfaction of the senses are vital. For instance, when one touches a surface, how does it make one feel?

What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Be alert and pay extra attention to negative thoughts. Thoughts that cause sadness, anger and, of course, frustration should be questioned. Once we do that, they lose their power. These thoughts are rarely real and are often brought about by varying external influences. I believe I will be free when I question my thoughts instead of wholeheartedly believing in them.

What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from the visuals around me. Challenges inspire me. Each hurdle motivates me to ensure I reflect, think creatively, and come up with new solutions to overcome them. Without challenges, there will not be growth.

What is one movie you have watched more than once, and why?
A New Leaf (1971), which Elaine May directed, wrote and starred in. She is a brilliant and witty writer. Her dialogues deserve multiple listening. Only then can one be able to capture the nuances and absurdity of the movie. Of course, Walter Matthau, the male lead of the movie, was on another level!

What is your guilty pleasure?
There are too many to mention, but afternoon naps are one of them.

What is one style you hate and never want to see again?
Any kind with a military style or is designed to create and establish authority.

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try but have never summoned the courage to do so?
If I have not done it by now, it means I do not want to do it. A lack of courage has never once held me back. I am not a daredevil in the sense of ‘Hey, let me jump out of an airplane’, but of moving from Germany to Chile on my own to intern in an underground copper mine. I was 18 then and did not speak a single word of Spanish. That took plenty of courage on my part.

What is one thing you had to learn the hard way?
I learned that one can’t please everyone. It is downright impossible, and you could lose your identity. You should always live your life for yourself without pleasing or hurting anyone.