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For the Oslow design trio behind Norway Says, it’s about using a simple language to express a complex idea. The composition of differently sized parts reflects the use of the mill—from the gripped element to where the contents are stored—be it salt, pepper or any other spice to grind. The highest grade beech wood is stained and lacquered, and maker Muuto includes a 25-year guarantee on the grinding mechanism. Best of all, the sculptural quality of this every day essential makes it a visual pleasure to keep it at hand on the kitchen counter or dining table.
”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.
The award-winning trio Espen Voll, Torbjørn Anderssen and Andreas Engesvik of Norway Says do acknowledge that as designers today they are “born global.” Nonetheless, they hold that their native sensibility remains a cultural signpost: “The way we live and work in Scandinavia is implicitly reflected in our work.” Establishing Norway Says in 2002, the studio’s range of products includes textiles, objects for the home and furniture. Though the partners eventually disbanded, Norway Says lives on in the permanent collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and Oslo’s Museum of Arts and Craft.