We first met VARG Designkollektiv at Formex, and immediately fell in love with their plastic rugs and other products, and we are so happy to have them with us.
Tell us about your background!
VARG Designkollektiv started in Gothenburg in 2013, with the vision of working as a creative platform where modern style meets the crafting tradition. We – Frida, Märta and Ottie – met while attending the Swedish School of Textiles (Textilhögskolan) in Borås, and this is where we took the first initiative that would lead to VARG Designkollektiv. We all had a great interest for textile applications and design, and shared the idea that entrepreneurship should be built on good collaborations. This is why we value to have close contact with our producers and manufacturers, and that all of us in the collective is a part of the design process. I guess you can say that our products are the result of collaborations, great collaborations.
What inspires you to create?
We are inspired by contrasts, especially between nature and urban elements. This was the base in our first design project with plastic rugs made in Sweden. Apart from the contrast between urban and nature, we want to combine the craftmanship with a contemporary expression and find a way to make function and design work together. Our design is characterized by graphical patterns and well composed colours.
Do you have a dream project?
It would be a dream to expand our business to do more than just interior design. Our vision to combine craftsmanship and modern design is applicable on many areas which would make a broad platform of creativity. And it would great to change the “red carpet” to VARG-carpets in a future event.
I first spotted these amazing lamps at the Stockholm Furniture Fair back in February, and I am so proud to be able to present them to you know! This is such a great project, beautiful products that also makes the world a little bit better. It just doesn’t get much better than this.
POP is a handmade, modular lampshade in smoked ecologically grown bamboo. The bamboo part and the naked metal part is connected with a elegant black leather strap, and the modules can be put together in several combinations.
Tell us about your background!
Studio Ljung & Ljung is a design studio consisting of Martin Hedenström Ljung and Greta Ljung. We started the studio in 2012 and made our first project the week before our wedding. Martin is an architect and designer and Greta is a graphic designer. We work with everything from graphic design to architecture, interior design, furniture design and teaching. In the fall of 2012, we started our project with the bamboo lamps POP that we manufacture together with non-profit organization Sop Moei Arts in Northern Thailand. This is a project that has taken up much of our energy and time, but at the same time it has given us a lot back. For us it is very important that, as far as possible take environmental and social aspects into account. By working together with Sop Moei Arts we can be sure that everything is made in a good way. The lamps are hand woven of bamboo growing in a small village high in the mountains. We know who is weaving our lamps, and even where the bamboo has grown and we know that he gets a fair wage. Simply a project that feels good on the inside!
What inspires you to create?
We are inspired by nature, travels and meetings where ideas can grow and become something big.
Do you have a dreamproject?
The lamps are probably our dream project. It is a project where most things have fallen in to place. It is social and environmental sustainable but also a product of a collaboration with other craftsmen. It’s also incredibly interesting to work with a traditional technique and a fantastic material such as bamboo. Our dream now is to continue to develop the project with more exciting products. That would be really fun!
My little treasure designs beautiful posters for both adults and children. This is The man with the dog, a circus inspired poster for the kid’s room. It’s colorful, with a lot of pattern and humor, you can see the pride in the mans posture and expression. Right now you find this poster in our popup store in Nacka Forum in Stockholm together with his friends Girafs, 123 and Circus.
Last week EmmaKisstina hijacked our Instagram account and we got to follow her in a regular work day full with color and beautiful illustrations. Kristina grew up in the US with her Swedish family. A couple of years ago she decided to move to Stockholm and has worked as an Illustrator ever since. She illustrates with a lot o color, inspired by fashion and girly-girl stuff. Come along with us on a day of her life!
Find out more of EmmaKisstina in our earlier blog post about her. Who would you like to see next take over our Instagram in A day in the life of?
I was so happy to see that Formelle Design has launched new products! This beautiful Blissful print is a spot on Friday Favourite!
Have a great weekend!
Say hello to one of our most recent designers, Johanna Arpiainen. Johanna is a painter and illustrator who creates detailed motifs inspired by nature and people. We really enjoy looking at her amazing work and we hope that you’ll like it as much as we do!
THREE QUESTIONS – JOHANNA ARPIAINEN
Tell us about your background!
I grew up in Borås, a small town near Gothenburg. I love art and I´ve been drawing and painting as long as I can remember. I moved from Borås when I was 19 years old and started my Fine Art-education that lasted for three years. After my degree I spent two years studying comics drawing at Gävle University, thats where I discovered ink and fineliners which have been my main technique since then. Today I live in Torslunda, a small village on the lovely island of Öland and I work full time as an illustrator and painter.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I get my inpiration from people I meet, natures beauty and the faces of my children. But most of all I get inspired by other artists and their creative work.
Do you have any dream projects?
Of course I have dream projects, I would love to draw a childrens book for example but I really love my work and every job big or small is a dream project for me.
Welcome Johanna Arpiainen! Find all of her products at Nordic Design Collective
It’s autumn and the evenings are getting darker and darker. On sunday it’s winter time and we set the clock back one hour. Which means slightly lighter evenings, but not for long! That sound so depressing but there are ways to make the darkness cozy! One way to cheer up the darkness is to put some light indoors. The cool and flexible Candle 1.0 by Maria Axelqvist is a perfect candelstick for autumn evenings! You can place it as it is on the table or attach it on table edges or shelves. Candel 1.0 is for tealights, if you prefer real candles check out Candel 2.0! Do you want to see them live? Pop by our popup store in Nacka Forum, Stockholm.
The last week or so, it has not only been products from our designers that has been featured in the press. The designers themself are getting more attention as well, which of course makes me happy.
In the local magazine ÖP (Östersundsposten), Cathy Dillner from Smadi Design was interviewed about her design business.
The local magazine NackaVärmdö Posten from outside of Stockholm had an interview with Christina Heitmann. As this is the local magazine in the area of our popup store, it was quite obvious that the readers liked her prints – just the day after publishing we had several customers in the store asking for her amazing work.
And finally, Anna Handell was featured in the Metro Living magazine for the area of Skåne (read it online here, her interview can be found on pages 12-15). So much fun to get a glimpse from her house!
Last week, we got a bunch of products from the talented Simon Key Bertman delivered to our store. Among them were this beautiful wool throw/blanket in a gradient grey scale.
It is handwoven in 4 colors combined in 13 mixings together, that forms a gradient over the throw in a abstract form of 169 boxes.
So beautiful! And perfect for the cooler autumn weather… Order your own Gradient Throw here.
I am always so very happy and proud to hear about the successes of the designers we work with. Recently, I learned that Susanna Sivonen has been selected as one of five designers for an exclusive collaboration with the well-known Finnish brand Aarikka for their 60 year anniversary. This is great news, big congratulations to you Susanna!
If I’m Google-translating the press release correctly, there will also be an exhibition to celebrate in Design Forum Finland in Helsinki. The exhibition is open for the public from October 30 to November 16. If you’re in Helsinki during that time, you really should take a look!
But for us stuck in Stockholm (or elsewhere) we just have to enjoy the work of Susanna Sivonen online instead.