Founded in Stockholm in 1995 by Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune, the studio has grown from architecture to multidisciplinary projects including furniture, yachts, homewares and lighting. Projects of note include the Sfera Building in Kyoto, Japan, the Scrittoio writing desk for Poliform, and a meticulously detailed private sailing yacht. The Claesson Koivisto Rune studio is also involved in exhibitions, set design and interiors for clients around the world, including the set of a music video for singer Kylie Minogue with director Johan Renck in 2002.
INTERVIEW WITH CLAESSON KOIVISTO RUNE AT SALONE DEL MOBILE 2016 FOR ARFLEX.
We know we love your designs but what is your most loved piece you have designed for the Arflex collection?
As a designer you tend to like your latest pieces the most, since those are the ones in your most recent memory. But that said, some favourites for Arflex is the small desk PONTI, the super-flexible sofa system MANGOLD, the table family TABLET, the inviting chair family HUG, The two sofas CLAUDINE & SOFTBEAT, the classic sofa system HOLLYWOOD, ...in fact we like all our designs for Arflex!
Tell us about your new releases for Arflex.
The BONSAI sofa was inspired by traditional Japanese theatre stages, and the upholstered part by the rocks and the strangely cut bushes you find in Japanese gardens. It’s a hybrid between a low table and a sofa. Strange, but still familiar. A sort of stage in a room.
The RUBYCON cabinet family is like a game with cubes. Like the Rubik’s Cube you played with as a kid. The cabinet is treated like a series of volumes - cubes - that looks like you could combine them in any order and colour combination. Still orderly, functional, and elegant.
What inspires you today? Travelling is always inspiring. Maybe because you sort of relax and think of other things than your work, and therefore see objects in a different way? Art is also inspiring because it makes you reflect on form, substance, and experience outside of the architecture and design world. Other than that it’s daily life using different objects and thinking about how to improve them.
How long does it take to develop a product?
Depends on how complicated a product is. Usually about a year, but it can take a longer time too.
Do you typically start by thinking about form, or do you consider form and materials simultaneously?
Usually you start thinking about a function. How to use a certain object. It can be a chair, a sofa, or a bicycle. Anything really. Then you start thinking about how to improve it in various ways - can be visually, functionally, or just to make it differently (from what already exists) then you start working on the design itself, and somehow all the things involved goes on more or less simultaneously.
To experience the Milan design week and see our designs in a context (with Arflex, obviously at the Arflex stand) for the first time. Regardless if you have been working on a piece for a long time, you still don’t really know if it works, until you see it together with other objects. Actually very exciting!