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Graphic designer Clara von Zweigbergk shuffles the deck, so to speak, with a charmingly graphic reworking of the traditional figure icons, backed with a brilliant red diamond motif. This master colorist has influenced trends in fashion and interiors in recent years with her Kaleido Tray Collection, also for the Danish brand Hay, and the Themis' Mobile series for Artecnica—both A+R staples. A deck of playing cards is one of the simplest analogue games—and oldest. Clara's modernist update puts it right back in the game.
“One of the most important things for our company is to make footprints of our own time,” says Rolf Hay, of his eponymous Copenhagen-based company launched in 2003 at the international furniture fair IMM Cologne. His idea was to bring Danish design to a new creative peak that rivaled the storied 1950s and 1960s—but with a modern update. As creative director, he’s committed to nurturing young upstarts and also “exploring the twisted minds of established designers” and giving both a platform.
In practice, that means seeking out imaginative products and evaluating them on their own merits rather than first commissioning a design for certain type of item. And he says his greatest thrill is seeing a prototype for the first time. “We work in a different way to the way our parents did, but we basically live in the same way,” Rolf says. “The news is that there is nothing new, except the possibilities. And that’s great fun.”
CLARA VON ZWEIGBERGK
“I choose colors by intuition,” says Swedish designer Clara von Zweigbergk, whose singular view animates a host of highly coveted products. “Over the years I have matured in my approach towards color,” she adds. “I can find beauty in nearly all colors—but I can also be quite stubborn in getting them exact.”
Clara studied at Beckmans School of Design in her native Stockholm and then at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, a formative experience. “When I was in Los Angeles, I experienced a wonderful attitude of everything being possible.” Returning to Stockholm, she worked as a graphic designer and then co-founded a multi-disciplinary studio concentrating on furniture, product and graphic design. “I am constantly peeling off the layers of my creations to achieve simplicity—even though I sometimes wish I could go crazy with fifteen fonts and images,” she says. “But I just can’t! That must be Sweden’s doing.”