Design House Stockholm works with designers anywhere on the spectrum from emerging to established. How do you approach collaborations?
We never select people to work with; we select a product that has a uniqueness in its category with a Scandinavian touch. The designers behind the products are coming from all over the world and today there are more than 70 designers under contract with our publishing house.
In the 20th Anniversary catalog, there are pieces released just this year and ones that are from DHS's early years; all still look fresh. What's the company's secret to developing design that endures?
When we select products that we want our customers to appreciate for a long time in their everyday use. Trends become secondary. We hope our friends will discover the small details that make our way of selecting favorable.
What's your favorite "classic" DHS piece and why?
Every year we introduce products that we think are a good example of the new Scandinavian design. We always want them to be classics. The cup and saucer designed by Anna Kraitz in the latest collection is my favorite right now.
For readers who aren't familiar with Swedish design, what are the core elements of its sensibility? What are the aspects that differentiate it from, say, Danish, Norwegian, or Finnish design?
Swedish design was "born" early 1900. A poor country eventually became one of the top three in terms of living standards. Design was an important tool to bring better products to everybody in Sweden, not only the wealthy. Quality, ergonomics, functionality, and restrained decoration were some ingredients.
You recently photographed the collection inside of one of Stockholm's most historic buildings, Hallwyl Palace (shown in the first photo above). What was that like? Why did you choose that location?
Our audience is playing with contemporary and classic, and expensive one-of-a-kind items mixed with products from flea markets. I think our design looks even more fantastic in the environment you find at the Hallwyl Palace, a place just around the corner from Design House Stockholm head office.
A New York-based writer, Diana studied art history and environmental policy at UC Davis. Before rising to Senior Editor at Dwell—where she helped craft product coverage, features, and more—Diana worked in the Architecture and Design departments at MoMA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She counts finishing a 5K as one of her greatest accomplishments, gets excited about any travel involving trains, and her favorite magazine section is Rewind. Learn more about Diana at: http://dianabudds.com
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