Loft Chair by Thomas Bentzen and Platform Tray designed Sam Hecht
One can spend hours looking at the sculptural pieces by the fine designers of Muuto, an innovative and visionary Scandinavian design company offering furniture and decorative accessories that are distinguished by a graceful beauty.
Imagine the unfurled leaf shiny surface down, creating a well of space, like a human palm, the matte color of this underside subtle and full of shadow, color rich yet tonal, the quiet of a forest floor.
This is how the organic shape of many of Muuto’s pieces seem to evolve, texture and form orchestrated to become functional, understated, light weight, and sculptural. So many of the pieces seem a marriage of manmade architectural beauty and biomorphic shaping….coming together to create form that one cannot help but respond to….
It is with great pleasure that I share my short interview with Christian Grosen, Director of Design at Muuto.
Christian, the Muuto designs have an architectural sensibility to them, particularly the furniture, and yet almost every piece is distinguished by an attention to texture, can you tell me how these elements are woven so beautifully together? Is there a certain process to make functional items so usable and so beautiful?
Christian Grosen…It’s the result of a close dialogue between Muuto’s creative team and the external designers. From the very beginning of a project we are aware of balancing the contemporary and the lasting qualities of a given design. A design must live up to our design values which also touches upon an architectural appearance and attention to detail and material.
Nerd Bar Stools designed by David Geckeler
Leaf Table Lamp by Designers Broberg & Ridderstråle
Around Table by Thomas Bentsen
Poufs and Airy Table, designers Anderssen & Voll and Cecilie Manz
Who do you find to be the most inspiring in terms of historic designers?
I’m a great fan of Jean Prouvé. He somehow managed to create his own unique and absolutely stunning design universe. The Danish designer Poul Kjærholm is also one of my idols. I had the pleasure of working on his designs together with his widow Hanne Kjærholm when I was at Fritz Hansen. She taught me how to achieve beauty and logic in a design through understanding the character of materials.
In what ways do natural materials inform your aesthetic?
Each material has its own character. I think it’s important to understand the material and to use it in the right way where aesthetics, function, quality and price become a coherent whole.
Workshop Chair designed by Cecilie Manz
Most interesting series or project?
I’m very proud of the Workshop Chair by Cecilie Manz. It’s an archetypical wooden chair – cool, contemporary and attractive, yet lasting in its appearance. I’m sure it will be in the collection for decades due to it’s high level of craftmanship and inherent lasting qualities.
And as for yourself Christian — may I ask -did you always make things or design -when you were a child for example -what was your first creative memory?
Always…I remember building all kinds of stuff in the workshop in my parents basement. I grew up on a large brewery which was a great playground and inspiration for a kid. I remember I found scrap metal and wood in the brewery’s containers and build my own imaginary machines and constructions. There were always an aesthetic hierarchy in the way I used the materials – indirectly I guess it’s more or less the same I do today.
Folded Shelf Designed by Johan-Van-Hengel for Muuto
Base Table with Bell Lamp, Designers Mika Tolvanen, David Geckeler and Iskos-Berlin