“As a creative person you spend a lot of time alone. Yet human connection is a vital part of the process.”
While no two days are ever the same, as soon as Stine Aas arrives at her shared studio, she takes the time to chat over a cup of coffee with her fellow designers, artists, and makers, “I always feel more energised, more able to concentrate and more motivated afterwards.”
Growing up in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, it was after graduating with an MA in furniture design from the Bergen National Academy of Arts, that Stine started her own studio. “Northern was one of the first brands I worked with and the Oaki dining chair we went on to produce was part of my first exhibition at Milan Design Week. I’m very proud to say that it was recently included in the permanent design collection of the National Museum of Oslo.”
Stine has continued working with Northern ever since, going on to produce an accompanying Oaki lounge chair, the Nest wall hook and the Grab watering can. So when looking to create a new sofa, one that would remain true to the brands deeply rooted Nordic design traditions, but packed with modern personality, they instinctively knew who to ask.
What was the inspiration behind the ‘Plis’ sofa series, and what qualities do you want it to bring to people’s everyday lives?
“Whether it’s furniture, products, or spatial design my starting point is always form and function. I want to make things that people will enjoy interacting with every day, and hopefully take care of and keep for a very long time.
I took inspiration for Plis from the natural curves and organic contours of the human body and how what we wear enhances and follows those shapes. As a result, the cover that wraps around the soft form of the finished sofa is comprised of only two pieces of fabric, with folds in each corner where the radius is smaller.
My aim was to make a timeless, generous, and comfortable piece of furniture that allows you to enjoy a feeling of togetherness with the person sat next to you.”
My aim was to make a timeless, generous, and comfortable piece of furniture that people will enjoy interacting with every day.”
When it comes to designing a timeless piece of furniture like a sofa, how do you create something new?
“I am more focused on making something good rather than something new. I love picking up ideas and inspirations from different times and places, melding them together to reflect how we live right now.
Following trends is always a bad idea. The newness lies in the idea and unique point of view. Maybe it is a new combination, a new detail, or a new use of material, but I always try to solve a problem in the simplest way possible which for me creates the most interesting products.”
How do you think furniture design will change to reflect how we choose to live in the future?
“With over-consumption such a big problem, every designer needs to think about and understand how their products will affect our future. Will this be relevant in 10 years? Will the materials I choose stand the test of time? Will this piece be maintained and fixed?
Thankfully, Northern, and Nordic design generally, with its alluringly clean and organic aesthetic has been, and still is, made with quality and craftsmanship at its heart. For me, when you bring objects like these into our homes they give a space roots, they are meant to live, outlive you even, they are made to last and be passed on to future generations.”