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Scandinavia’s fleetingly short summer season inspires the Reflect Drawer chest, part of a series for Danish House Muuto. Designer Søren Rose takes the idea of sun reflecting upon the region’s ubiquitous oak trees and translates it with unwavering craft in the undulating curves of the drawer fronts. Maintaining work studios in both Copenhagen and New York, Søren’s global aesthetic spans the constraints of time zones and regional borders. His work honors the tradition of Nordic furniture design and its inherent respect for fine materials and workmanship yet looks ever-forward.
”We give the designers the freedom to create new designs,” says Muuto co-founder Peter Bonnén. Inspired by the Finnish word “muutos” that alludes to having a new perspective, the company aspires to update Scandinavian tradition for a new generation. By giving free reign to the brightest design talent in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, there’s the breathing room to conjure a new take on a chair, vase or a lamp, Peter says. “The road to success for modern Scandinavian design lies in a strong belief in the best designers of our time.”
Peter and co-founder Kristian Byrge, who originally trained in economics and management respectively, might not have seemed destined to helm a new-influencer design firm. But their passion for all things design and and the distinctive style they dub “New Nordic” has brought global acclaim in just a few short years. “This gives the Muuto designs great diversity and character and further links them to the Nordic heritage—a heritage Muuto is proud of and that all the designers carry with them as part of their professional luggage”, says Kristian.
SOREN ROSE STUDIO
Fedora-loving Dane Søren Rose had worn many proverbial hats in his past career as a creative director, casting agent and web entrepreneur before establishing his eponymous design studio in New York (with a branch in Copenhagen.) Handling architecture, interiors and product design, he says, “we worship high quality and sustainable materials and approach our work with both traditional and innovative craftsmanship.”
With designs for notable companies such as Muuto and Menu, the prevailing aesthetic often juxtaposes a clean Nordic heritage with the grittier sensibility found in lower Manhattan. One telling example is the studio’s overhaul of a classic 1974 AirStream, its classic-Americana exterior restored while the interior got a Scandinavian-style makeover, down to a wood floor from 115-year old Danish firm Dinesen. Though Søren reveres past design icons Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton, he also rallies support for newer talents, challenging clients: “When was the last time you bought a design of an emerging designer?"