I had a fairly early and strong fascination with objects. As a child I was really fascinated by an old teapot with intricate patterns that my father brought home from India years before my birth.
TL: How did you get started in design?
I had a fairly early and strong fascination with objects. As a child I was really fascinated by an old teapot with intricate patterns that my father brought home from India years before my birth. This teapot had a really strong impact on me and it was of course loaded with stories about India told by my father. It became a symbol for adventure and foreign cultures. Objects like this opened up my eyes. I had a strong interest in drawing and painting I started studying fine arts at Cubria Collage of art and Design but soon changed into architecture and furniture design at Konstfack in Stockholm.
The teapot stands as an example of what I strive for as a designer. I wish to make objects that spur the imagination and transmit a feeling larger than the object itself.
TL: What was the first project you ever worked on?
The first design project as a professional was my examination project “Fifth Element” in which I investigated the meeting between wood and glass. Hot glass combined with wood leads to an exciting clash between the materials where they shape and consume one another.
The first building that I drew as an independent architect is Villa Ljugarn. A large summer house, on the Island of Gotland. It’s all in wood, roof and facade and treated with a new impregnation that turns the wood lightly silver grey like old wood exposed to the salty winds from the sea.
TL: Do you have a favorite project?
One of my favorite projects is the Weave cabinets. The enlarged weave pattern has taken many turns in my design. It first started off in the studies of old basket weaving, and was then applied to an architect project and then reworked into the cabinet Weave. I struggled to find ways to simplify the production, trying out different hinges and ways of making the weave in a reasonable way. At last it has turned out well with a fairly efficient production. It´s nice when a project brings you to new contacts and experiences. When you feel that you have really learned something and reached the goal.
TL: What inspires you?
People burning for their ‘things’ really are the most inspiring ones. People that find new ways of doing things and dare to go through with their ideas.
My designs however often spring from my fascination of new and old techniques. How things can be done differently really drives me.
TL: How does being Swedish influence your work?
I believe my close relation to nature, which I consider to be typically Swedish, has affected me a lot. All the materials we use originate from nature and to me it´s important that this origin is visible in the final product. And that all production is made with respect to our surroundings. I try to work with natural materials that are easily recyclable or bio-degradable.
When it comes to the form of things I guess I carry the heritage of the typically Swedish / Nordic simplicity. I believe it originates from the times when Sweden wasn’t a rich and developed country. The Swedish carpenters looked at the masters in southern Europe and created simplified versions [of their work]. That turned into a style of its own. This in combination with the thoughts of modernism has brought the Swedish design tradition of simplicity and function to where it is today. My designs sometimes challenge this tradition by bringing a stronger and less rational expression.
TL: Swedes you admire?
I really admire TAF for their poetic minimalism and Matti Klenell for his sense of form and function.
TL: What’s different about Swedish design?
I believe minimalistic function is typical for Nordic designs as well as the use of light colored wood. But I´m not sure I would say that it´s all that different today; the design scene has become more and more global and we all affect one another. This has made Swedish design better and more exiting but also less unique. Nowadays the differences are somewhat erased.
TL: If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be?
I wouldn’t mind having a coffee with Nendo. I really like the investigation in the process of his projects.
TL: What says “classic Swedish” to you?
When it comes to food we have lovely classics like cured salmon, and pickled herring that we consume together with large quantities of snaps, spiced shots, during different festivities like for example midsummer. At midsummer we also like to gather and dance around a maypole. This pole is said to be an old fallos symbol from the time of the vikings.
TL: If you weren’t living in Sweden where would you live?
Probably New York or London.
TL: Anywhere you go when you’re feeling a creative block?
TL: If you had to give Stockholm a word, what would it be?
TL: What is something very Swedish that you’d take with you wherever you went?
Strömmingvagnen ( the herring wagon ) at Slussen.
TL: When you’re traveling, do you have any favorite Swedish places to go if you’re feeling homesick?
I like being abroad too much to be homesick .
Lukas Dahlen's Short Guide to Stockholm
Judit’s second hand shop has been around for more than 10 years. You will find a mix of older vintage clothing with the latest trends. The store is continuously updated with bags and jewelry that they buy on trips around the world.