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The New Nordic
This week we had the pleasure of chatting with Mattias Ståhlbom from Stockholm-based design studio TAF Architects.
Mattias, along with TAF partner Gabriella Gustafson, has been working closely with Muuto over the last few years and has produced a number of iconic designs for the innovative Scandinavian brand, including the Wood Table Lamp and the Adaptable Dining Table. At the Milan furniture fair this year, TAF launched some exciting new pieces– including the effortlessly simple 70/70 Table – and we’re pleased to be one of the very first stockists.
Read below for our exclusive interview with Mattias.
Hi Mattias. What inspired you to begin your career in design and to become a partner in TAF Architects?
Moving away from home realizing you need to surround yourself with lots of stuff. Both functional but also to create a surrounding that goes with your personality and your general ideas of life.
In the past you have described wanting to make design an essential part of life – like a ‘loaf of bread’. Can you expand on this for us please?
We think that it is important that design can be accessible and important for everyone. It should be something that is naturally including, and definitely not something that is excluding; maybe something obvious and clear to understand but also with a complexity inside. Like a recipe for a nice loaf of bread maybe…
Do either of you have a particular material you really enjoy working with – a particular type of wood for example?
We both love working with pine and birch. Not only are they close to us geographically, they also stand for something contemporary, light and positive. By contrast, dark wood, for us, stands for something more conservative and old.
You have designed a number of iconic designs for Muuto including the Wood Table Lamp, Adaptable Table and now the 70/70 Table – do you have a personal favourite?
In one way, our latest project – the 70/70 Table – is the most interesting because of the ‘new effect’. However, maybe our answer should be the Wood Table Lamp since we have had an incredible amount of positive and interesting feedback on that project. It also, in a very clear way, demonstrates our main ideas about what design is about.
If you weren’t designers what would you be?
It is hard to tell since we really like our work. Maybe I would be a gardener or a race car driver – it seems romantic!
Do you have a motto you live by?
No, not any that are outspoken, but we tend to set up new rules all the time. Right now, for example, we are very much into questioning ourselves and the meaning of life.