What is your design process?
The work we do in the studio is old-fashioned in the sense that it’s really focused on form. I like to think good form and refined proportions always will be viable and vouches for timeless products and sustainable use. In fact, for some products form is more important than function, although I’d like to argue that the form is the function – the purpose – of some products. As long as an object hits a nerve with the user – creates feelings and emotions – it is justified and thus sustainable.
This approach is reflected in the work process in the studio. All projects start with sketching, research and problem solving to find a direction to a client brief or conceptual idea. This is followed by visuals and concept presentations. We are obviously depending on computers to a large extent to generate 3d models, visualizations and drawings, but the most important part of the process is to build mockups and models.
Paper, cardboard and tape and sometimes fabric, foam and wood is used to quickly construct several simple models so that we can compare and evaluate changes in details, form and proportions. To make changes, try alternative forms, evaluate and discuss why we feel something is better than something else is fundamental in the process. I always stress that technical drawings have to be developed in an efficient and rational manner, to allow as much time as possible for this crucial development process.
Depending on which type of project and its complexity, we sometimes also develop proper prototypes instead of 3d models as a reference for manufacture. The studio’s 3d printer is a valuable tool for smaller objects.
I’m fascinated by how a chunk of wood, some threads of yarn or a piece of plastic can take on a form that suddenly creates emotions and affections. Cutlery and tableware are good examples, where the materials are always the same but can become so much more with consideration to form and attention to detail.
How would you describe your work?
I want the products we create in the studio to be simplistic, intuitive and easy to understand. Perhaps this is related to my former studies and work with graphics and communication. I try to reduce unnecessary details and emphasize a function or main character, which often results in simple but expressive objects with friendly shapes and some distinct or emphasized detail.
During the eight years since the start of the studio I recognize a development of my work. I think the aesthetic today is more mature and confident, which may be a natural consequence of my own progress.
From “playfulness” to “cleverness”, as a journalist recently concluded. I think that’s a nice formulation.
However, it is also a response to the unsustainable development of the design business and a deliberate focus on and attempt to create timeless and long-term products.
What is your personal design philosophy?
The most frequent word I’m using about my work is probably “simplistic”. I use it with the intention to describe something that is simple and clear, but with a sense of refinement and quality. I have realized other designers understand the word better than consumers and therefore I will try elaborate on the meaning.
My interest in design started with graphics and communication. The clear and simple have always been a preference to me, since it promotes understanding, intuition and functionality. In my opinion, the purpose with simple form is not be scarce or stylized, but to enhance strong aesthetic expression.
When I studied architecture 15 years ago everyone was talking about minimalism, but I believe only a few truly grasped the full meaning of the word. Architecture and design with reduced, minimal form often becomes poor and weak, since it lacks character and personality. I believe in simplistic form that is reduced from clutter and unnecessary details with the purpose to uplift something else, such as a function or a beautiful form.