Inspired by the traditional Scandinavian furniture cane craft, Mathieu Grustafsson’s light and etheral Air Wardrobe & Sideboard is constructed of cane panels stretched between solid wooden frames.
The design, which keeps the furniture well ventilated and barely hide what is inside, was launched this week at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2016 by Design House Stockholm, the Scandinavian furniture company.
“My Swedish relatives furnished their dwellings in a typically Swedish style; pared down and practical. People in France are not as uniform,” the Swedish/French designer maintains. “They can readily mix Empire with Ikea.”
“From a Swedish perspective it is a bit irrational as a wardrobe and is therefore somewhat luxurious,” he says. “From a French point of view the pattern attributable to the strict design is extremely Scandinavian.” And the fact of Air being blond and airy is also linked to the Scandinavian tradition of furniture.
According to Design House Stockholm, the greatest challenge has been to master the use of cane and to translate Mathieu Gustafsson’s idea into an item that is affordable without losing the poetry in the design. Cane is a material that can only be worked when it is wet. When it dries it tends to twist. The force is so great that it could split the cupboard, making therefore almost impossible to combine the intractable material with the delicate framework using rational methods of furniture manufacture.
With family roots from both Småland and Paris Mathieu draws inspiration from both cultures in his designs, having studied furniture design at the “Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies” university in Stockholm. His design office, Mathieu Gustafsson Design, is based in Stockholm with an approach to design characterised by a search for the essential, both in shape as in concept.