Jonas R. Stokke and Øystein Austad met in a portfolio review at the Oslo School of Architecture in 2004 and have worked together ever since. They exhibited a small collection of furniture prototypes during Milan’s Salone Satellite in 2005 and 2006, gaining international attention even before they graduated.
They have designed a wide range of objects—aluminum LED lamps, a low and lean chair with upholstered legs and body, an endearing wooden owl sculpture—but their best-known object to date is the Dayboard, a playful version of a daily calendar. “It started as an exploration of time, a research project looking at how different people visualize the year,” Stokke explains. “Some see the year as a circle; others see it as a blur. Traditional calendars do not leave enough room for personal interpretation of how time passes.” Their calendar, produced by the Spanish company ABR, has brightly colored plastic tabs that each represent a day and are held in place by magnets; this allows users the freedom to arrange the year as they see fit, and to secure photos or concert tickets as needed.
“Design is about values—moral, functional, economic, conceptual, aesthetic—and about improving things,” Stokke continues. “We certainly hope that we are making durable objects, both in quality and aesthetics.” To that end, in 2013 they will present their new plastic-and-steel canteen and conference chair, designed for the Scandinavian Business Seating company. The goal: maximum flexibility (it’s available with or without armrests, upholstery, a swivel function, and a writing tablet) and minimal environmental impact.