I first became aware of young Norwegian designers Morten & Jonas when I saw their Bake Me a Cake lamp by Northern Lighting at the 2013 Stockholm Furniture Fair. I was immediately in love with their work. I went to Bergen in 2014 and saw their office, but just missed them! So when I finally pinned them down in Milan in April of this year, I was delighted. Before I share that conversation, I must just let you know that you can see them for yourselves at 100% Norway as part of Tent London at the Truman Brewery in London 24 – 27 September. Go and check them out – and in the meantime, here’s what we talked about…
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
That we are work hard and are full of ideas.
When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Morten’s only dreams were the sandbox and his sand castles. Jonas was just enjoying the carefree life of being a child.
We are still enjoying life, playing with ideas and creating. But combined with hard work and ambitions.
How did you first get into what you do now?
Jonas found himself as a designer through woodworking and Morten started out with graphic design after highschool and eventually gravitated towards furniture and object design.
How do you overcome creative block?
We have each other, but we often get creative blocks anyway. Some black coffee or wine often help to get the ideas rolling again if we hit a bump.
Talk me through your design and making process from initial idea to final product.
We often have problems coming up with ideas – one of them being that we have too many! The start is usually simple, drawing with pen and paper – ideas that are not easy to understand by everyone, but this misunderstanding often creates new and more exciting shapes and ideas. The computer is a fantastic tool with which we take the process further. Then comes the testing, prototyping and playing with small models, materials or colours. The most exciting part is when we have a prototype to study and work further on. We still don’t have a 3D-printer to make quick three-dimensional sketches on, and that is maybe our next investment. For now, pen, paper, cardboard and the computer are our best and fastest tools.
What’s your favourite part of the process?
The part where we fall in love with an idea.
What’s your favourite tool?
Pen and paper.
Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Morten & Jonas.
A good day is when we see or get a piece or a prototype to our office – from either a craftsman or a producer. A bad day is when nothing works and we should have stayed in bed.
What are you most proud of?
That other people can see that we are continuously improving ourselves as designers.
What advice would you give to a new designer?
Nothing comes for free, and hard work is the recipe, combined with a small bit of luck.
Further reading for the especially geeky:
Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.
See more of Katie's Posts