In­te­rior de­signer

Elle Decoration (South Africa) - - PROFILE -

Milan De­sign Week project: Grön­ska rug col­lec­tion for Kasthall

Why did you de­cide to be­come a de­signer? I’m al­ways fas­ci­nated by the way de­sign ma­te­ri­alises the imag­ined val­ues we have into the tex­ture of ev­ery­day life. I’m in­ter­ested in cre­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments that af­fect us, that make peo­ple feel good and that con­nect us on a hu­man level. Specif­i­cally, what we fo­cus on a lot in the stu­dio and in our hos­pi­tal­ity spa­ces is what hap­pens when peo­ple come to­gether, and how de­sign can af­fect this and change the con­nec­tion be­tween them in a good way – in pub­lic and pri­vate spa­ces. For me, that’s in­de­pen­dent of whether it’s a high-end en­vi­ron­ment or a so­cial project. Many of the es­sen­tial de­sign prin­ci­ples are the same. What’s been driv­ing you through your life and ca­reer? I’ve al­ways been in­spired by peo­ple who don’t ac­cept the sta­tus quo. I sup­pose, in sim­ple terms, the first peo­ple who in­spired me were my par­ents. My fa­ther was an econ­o­mist and in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist, my mother was an artist. They both pushed bound­aries and ques­tioned the sys­tem. Mak­ing things bet­ter is the essence of de­sign. What I love about the de­sign pro­fes­sion is that there’ve been so many ex­tra­or­di­nary men and women who’ve had a vi­sion of a bet­ter world, whether through ar­chi­tec­ture or de­sign. Those peo­ple are re­ally in­spir­ing.

What did you present at this year’s Milan De­sign Week? We have a new col­lec­tion of rugs for Kasthall, which in­cludes three wo­ven and two tufted de­signs that cel­e­brate Swedish land­scapes through­out the sea­sons. Kasthall is lo­cated in the Swedish coun­try­side, and there’s a vis­i­ble con­nec­tion be­tween the fac­tory and the beauty of the land­scape. Through­out our projects, we’ve seen a cul­tural shift to­wards the green­ing of ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors. Over the past 10-20 years, ref­er­ences in colours have been ur­ban: ce­ment grey, gallery white, steel. They all took cues from the built en­vi­ron­ment. These days, we spend much of our time in front of a screen and live the ma­jor­ity of our lives in­doors, so we crave a phys­i­cal con­nec­tion with na­ture. It was also im­por­tant for us to in­ves­ti­gate the tech­niques Kasthall could of­fer. To see what came out of these ex­per­i­ments. What’s amaz­ing about this com­pany is that they com­bine de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing; they have looms, they weave and they do hand-tuft­ing, all un­der one roof. These tech­niques have very dif­fer­ent out­puts and we were able to mix them and see what ef­fects we could cre­ate. We wanted to em­u­late the tex­tures of na­ture and used the struc­ture of ‘the Swedish land­scape’ as a way of mak­ing sense of our re­search. We took five dif­fer­ent types of Swedish land­scapes (meadow, farm­land, glade, fur­row and veg­etable patch) and then looked at those through the sea­sons – a sort of cal­en­dar in car­pets, defin­ing a new range of colours and ma­te­ri­al­ity, which are com­bined in this col­lec­tion.

When you work for a com­pany, what are your ideal con­di­tions for a suc­cess­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion? When we work on our projects, the most im­por­tant part of a suc­cess­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion is the peo­ple we’re work­ing with: you can have a great build­ing, but if the client, the team or the con­trac­tors aren’t com­mit­ted, you won’t be able to pro­duce a great end re­sult. Whereas you might have a not-so-im­pres­sive build­ing, but if you have a cham­pion and ev­ery­body in­volved along the way is re­ally in­ter­ested and en­gaged, the out­come can be amaz­ing.

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