Sarpaneva’s teacher at the Institute of Industrial Arts was the legendary Arttu Brummer, who was the mentor to the entire post-war generation of designers.
Brummer saw an exceptional talent in Sarpaneva. Sarpaneva also admired his Renaissance-like teacher. Serving as an assistant to Brummer gave Sarpaneva a front-row seat to everything happening at the school. As a sign of the mutual admiration and respect the two men had, Brummer did not let anyone sit in Sarpaneva’s old place after he graduated from the school, instead keeping the chair empty. As an adult, Sarpaneva recalled something Brummer had said that left an indelible impression on him: “Renaissance people are great in their virtue, powerful in their sin.” Sarpaneva seems to have taken this advice to heart…