INTERVIEW WITH TORBJORN ANDERSSEN – POLITIKA

SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN

Torbjørn Anderssen, one of the best representatives of modern Scandinavian design, was guest speaker at this year’s Belgrade design Week, at the conference entitled “innovation squared” at the Museum of Contemporary art, from 6 to 8 June. During his speech, Anderssen presented typical Scandinavian design.

He graduated from the Bergen national academy of the arts, where he now teaches. He is one of the founders of the famous design collective norway says, and today, with partner espen Vőll he runs the design studio anderssen & Voll in Oslo. The studio engages in design of furniture, textiles, electronics, lighting…

The household items which the studio designs are characterized by simplicity of form, which is generally the attribute of scandinavian design, and pure, intensive colors. according to Thorbjørn, designers tend to approach each project with an open mind.

“We don’t always have the same approach, because each project is different, whether it is a cast iron fireplace, or a sofa. Working with italian industry is different from working with norwegian producers, so the situation around the project is always very different. What we always strive to do is to make good projects,” – said anderssen.

The clients of the company, which is involved in a variety
of design disciplines, include domestic brands such as LK Hjelle and Røros Tweed, but also international ones like Foscarini, Muuto, Square or Lapalma. Anderssen & Voll gladly collaborate with Italian manufacturers, because of the quality of production, advanced technology and respect they have for designers. Norwegian company LK Hjelle will always have a special place in their portfolio, because it gave them their first assignment as young designers. The latest project of this company is the design of a sofa for Muuto, named “Oslo”, and new lamps for Foscarini named “Yoko”. Anderssen & Voll designs a wide range of products from textiles to electronics. According to Anderssen, innovation can be either something entirely new, or an improvement of an existing category of products.

“Our studio does both, but we are more inclined towards the second, more „soft“ idea of innovation. We usually try to include as many people as possible in every work process. We currently have 6 employees, and our skills are complementary, so we solve problems together and discover new possibilities in each project. a unique point of view often leads to a unique solution. What we are most interested in is creating balance.” said Anderssen.

Anderssen says he enjoys his job and that the best thing about it is seeing the tangible and measurable progress in his work.

“You make something, and then you can put it on the floor or on the table, and you can move on, but there is always this trace, proof of your work life. and this is my favorite part of being a designer.”

Thrilled with the BDW conference, he concludes: “I think the quality of the content is amazing. it was wonderful to see the work of some great designers and also to learn how design can be applied to society planning.”

Regarding innovation, the central topic of the conference, Anderssen also commented on this notion: Innovation he considers especially relevant is the development of navigation technologies and a new way of using cell phones, which changes the behavior pattern of people.

“I think the real and important innovation lies in applying design thinking to other fields in society, like economy, and to society as such. Our company has a very soft way of innovating: it’s more about facilitating the personal relationship with the object, understanding the object and also facilitating the potential of connecting personal rituals to the object.” said Anderssen.

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Belgrade Design week unlike so may other city design events has a wonderfully essential vibe about it. Nothing pretentious in the air but big bags of energy and enthusiasm. It feels like the Serbs haven't already decided what design is and so are open and ready to riff off the ideas that come in to sharp focus over these precious days. The city itself has a gritty charm about it which complements the event perfectly.

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