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We're mad for mobiles, and the Themis Collection by graphic designer and illustrator Clara von Zweigbergk is particularly marvelous. Inspired by the polyhedron solid, the faceted geometric shapes are actually hollow ornaments lending to the lightness and bounce of the mobile when touched. Each ornament is individually colored in fluorescents and rich colors, some with metallic accents. "I think of them as planets and like to see the colors change while gently turning," says Clara, who studied at Beckmans School of Design in her native Stockholm and at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. She created Themis in collaboration with Los Angeles-based Artecnica.
“L.A.’s uniqueness,” say the partners behind Artecnica, “is a mosaic of so many varied disciplines that have a common passion to create something that elsewhere would be thought as impossible.” Husband-and-wife team Enrico Bressan and Tahmineh Javanbakht founded the firm in 1987 and it has grown into an internationally recognized design company that collaborates with both established designers and emerging talent. With the likes of Tord Boontje, Hella Jongerius and the Campana brothers, Enrico and Tahmineh bring a vibrant and colorful slant, often with a good dollop of whimsy.
Yet Artecnica’s output is underscored by a commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible manufacturing. Products are often made with recycled materials and transported in easy-ship flat packages to reduce the carbon footprint. And the partners continue to be inspired by California as a a “clean slate” where dreams can turn into reality. “Not that they always do—but more often than not (they) do actually happen here.”
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.”