With a Swedish mother and Danish father Chris Liljenberg Halstroem shows her Nordic roots in her designs through a minimalistic approach and strong combinations of materials like wood, leather and wool. Function is her starting point and dictates the idiom of her beautiful designs.
She was born in Glostrup, Denmark, and graduated from The Royal Danish Academy, School of Design, in Copenhagen, where she also today lives, manage her own studio, and organize/ take part in Danish and international exhibitions. She prefers the materials of wood, wool and steel, and despite loving to experience the world, her home is her favourite place in the whole world. Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm is a curious and investigative woman. And it is in the investigation that she finds her biggest inspiration – an investigation of all possible angles of a design that draws her and broadens her perspective on the design process. Besides this, she is deeply fascinated by traditional Japanese architecture and design which focuses on the core function of the design. And because of this, it is no surprise that Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm challenges new alternative core functions of a future design when she is immerse in a new design project.
Photo: Andreas Omvik
WE ASKED Chris 3 Questions we were keen to hear her thoughts on:
1. Tell us about your design(s) and the process involved? How do your designs usually come about?
I always start my process in analyzing a certain situation, often one occurring in an everyday setting, asking how I can change it or make it better. This determines which kind of object I will then work on through modelling, sketching etc. My process involves a lot of writing trying to find the right arguments for why I should put yet an other product into this world.
2. How do you feel about the replica industry (in your country or in general) and (how) has it affected your designs?
Unfortunately there is a tendency that many companies want more or less the same kind of products in their collections. This is not directly copying each other but it makes the industry very boring.
In Denmark we have strict rules for replicas, so fortunately most cases are won by the original designer in a dispute. But I was very surprised when I visited Australia and read an interior magazine that showed a replica Wegner chair. I could not believe that this was actually legal. It seems like many people do not understand how much time and money goes into a design product. From when I start a project until it is finally in the shops it often takes three years. When an other company then steals that idea they can make the product much cheaper of course, because they did not themselves invest anything in the development.
I have only tried being copied a few times, and fortunately I have many more ideas in me, so I will just keep working and try to be original.
3. What are your hopes for the future of design (in your country or in general)?
I am convinced that design is key to overcome many of the challenges that we see in the world. Rethinking and reframing situations is something designers do very well and I hope that governments and companies in general will open their eyes more and more to these skills. As for my own work I can sometimes feel very old fashioned in the way that I work, but I am convinced that beautiful and well-made things still have a positive impact on our everyday lives making us better persons.