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THE SOUTHERN COAST OF SWEDEN

On dreams of sustainbility

Gustaf Westman

Gustaf Westman is the 26-year-old architecture gone furniture designer who popped up from out of nowhere (or he actually arrived straight from Dalsjöfors in the south-west of Sweden). At the end of last year, he was suddenly all over Instagram. And in every conversation among interior design lovers across the country, his funky mirrors and wavy designs were a source of inspiration and admiration. And like that was not enough, he has been named ‘Designer to watch’ by every cool publication, including e.g., the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. Being a child of his time, Gustaf has always been focused on calling attention to local craftsmanship, how we consume and look at design, and sustainability.

Tell me about your work, how did you get into the design business?

Gustaf:

I work as a furniture designer and do my own furniture, design collaborations, and some more significant conceptual projects. I started my career about two years ago by doing an office for a Swedish PR company. After that, I've done lots of stuff, from designing recycled plastic furniture to a clothing company's showroom.

You started out with architecture studies, what is it about architecture you love?

Gustaf:

Architecture is the most pleasing combination of engineering and art. A beautiful home needs to be perfect on so many levels, and a great architect is such a genius. The best feeling I know is to see a building I love. To feel the material and walk through the beautiful rooms. I get totally excited just by thinking about it, I just want to discover more architecture!

Your signature designs are playful, where do you find your inspiration?

Gustaf:

I find inspiration everywhere. In art history, in nature, and by listening to music. But I design for people, so that's the main inspiration, people's way of living their life.

How has 2020 shaped you as a creator?

Gustaf:

It's a hard question to answer, I think it would have been easier to see the change if I've been in business for a long time, but I haven't. When it comes to designing my own pieces of furniture that has mainly been during 2020. But I see myself as an adaptable person, and I've probably been shaped a lot without understanding it now.

How do you feel about getting into a business that has affected the world in so many harmful ways? And how do you work to prevent this?

Gustaf:

Buying small scale design is a type of conception consuming. I believe that we always need design and art that reflect our time to understand our time. Of course, we probably need to change what we design and the way we consume design. But for me that's the most exciting part about being a designer, to adapt to the time we are living in.

How is the state of the world shifting your hopes or expectations for the future of design?

Gustaf:

First of all, I'm not really a person that plans for the future too much. I always live for the moment, so I guess my expectations change all the time. But as I said before, I believe we need design, art, music, movies, and all those things that are unnecessary for us to survive, but still so essential for us to thrive.

What legacy would you want to leave behind for the world?

Gustaf:

I want to be a part of my generation and make furniture that reflects our time. And as I mentioned before, my goal is always to make stuff that lasts a lifetime. I'm sure the material will last, but only time will tell if the design will.

Do you have any recurring dreams?

Gustaf:

That I make it to the Olympics! I never get to the part where I actually do any sports, so I don't know what I would compete in. It would probably be long-distance running though since I love running.

How do you prefer to sleep?

Gustaf:

After a good evening with friends pasta and wine, and of course in really good sheets!

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