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13 January 2023
It’s called Alima and it’s a versatile, functional piece of furniture with an attractive design
Solving a problem is the starting point of every project: this is the approach of Kristoffer Fagerström and Malin Engvall, Swedish designers, founders of Note Design Studio in Stockholm. With their work team they deal with design across the board from architecture to design passing through graphics, strategy, and art direction. This microcosm of disciplines flows into the various projects starting from a brainstorming in which each one brings his or her contribution of skills. The goal is to produce furnishings and accessories designed to last both from a material point of view and from a functional and aesthetic point of view. Perhaps also for this reason the recurring style is essential and clean, with small details of discreet beauty that we find in all their projects: from the Embrace bed for Pianca, to the Musa light for Vibia, passing through the Pelago outdoor collection for Skagerak. Function, versatility, and beauty are also the characteristics of Alima, the trolley designed for &Tradition.
How was the collaboration with & Tradition born and in what aspects do you feel close to the company?
The collaboration started with &Tradition a few years ago, during the beginning of the pandemic. We had meetings from our home offices digitally, although it was not face to face, we connected in our disconnection, we were all in the same situation. Design is very tactile, it’s about feeling, we had to be very open with each other, from that the collaboration became very personal from the beginning.
Where did the idea of designing a trolley come from?
The inspiration came from the ‘creative chaos’ of working from home during the pandemic, we needed a storage unit that would house our collection of books, magazines, drawings and objects. Alima is lower than other trolleys, which means that you can roll it under your working table in the home atelier. That way you can easily store it away under your table, while it being accessible in an ongoing project, but it can also be used as a casual display area for personal objects and interesting books.
What guided the choice of Alima’s materials and finishes?
We chose to craft the frame of Alima in metal to add a lightness and reflection to the design. The wooden tray in either oak or walnut and the leather handlebar, adds a richness and warmth to the metal frame.
In general, what are the priorities in your approach to a new project?
We always start projects with holistic, zoomed-out discussions where we try to utilize the entire office’s knowledge base. Here, it is incredibly valuable to get different perspectives, from colleagues who work both spatially and strategically. During these discussions, we approach the spatial environment the product will eventually be used in and try to identify and deeply understand the company and their end consumer. Making sure the product has a reason to exist and how it will be different and useful on the market.
In your architectural works as well as in those of design, how do you articulate the theme of sustainability?
Sustainability is an important factor that plays a big role throughout the design process, the choice of materials is a large piece of the puzzle, understanding what their life cycle looks like and how they finally can be taken apart and recycled. But we talk a lot about sustainability from an aesthetic perspective as well. Our goal is to create products that are impossible to throw away, because they have such great value for their owner that they become obvious heirlooms or second-hand objects. To reach that goal, it is required that the expression lasts over time, but also that the quality does and that the materials become more beautiful with time. We are also working with brands that, together with their factories often have a high level of knowledge about sustainable materials and production techniques.
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