Worth keeping an eye on, despite their relatively short but productive career, are the three designers of Swedish studio Stoft. They have clear views on the premise of their work. An organisation in which the craftsmanship and creative sensibility of their products are paramount, and in which the practical aspect of each of their pieces must be a defining motive.
Their Whittle Away closets and cabinets display the inherent functionality of their designs, and how they cannot limit themselves to simply creating a piece. Their work on these pieces conceals an extra approach that sets them apart from the rest. Their exterior finish, reminiscent of a thin skin that lifts up to show a much more colourful and showy inside, functions as a layer which preserves it. “These thin vertical strips of pine wood are reminiscent of the way that the outer bark of a tree strips off to reveal a new and lustrous interior, or walls with flaking paint. It’s a kind of outer skin that slowly separates, to reveal something new that has lain dormant underneath”.
“The thin vertical strips of pine wood are reminiscent of the way that the outer bark of a tree strips off to reveal a new and lustrous interior”
Available in two versions, one free-standing that is larger and stronger, and a smaller version to be used as a wall-mounted cabinet, the project was developed following the dictates of artisanal working methods, always preserving the stories that their own ancestors could have discovered.
Elegant, playful, surprising and very contemporary, Whittle Away was part of the What’s your DNA? exhibition, during the latest edition of Dutch Design Week, an example of reinterpreted minimalism coexisting with the old concept of artisanal work. According to the designers, “It’s a sort of cross-fertilised and ambiguous DNA, that we carry within ourselves imprinted with our family and cultural heritage”.
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