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5 mins with Daniel Heckscher of Note Design Studio

We talk design strategy and a multidisciplinary approach with Daniel Hecksher of Swedish collective Note Design Studio during the Salone del Mobile Milan.

  • The colour palette for the Magis stand.

Swedish collective Note Design Studio, with Daniel Hecksher pictured centre in yellow.

Swedish collective Note Design Studio, with Daniel Hecksher pictured centre in yellow.

Indesignlive: As a truly multi-disciplined studio, have you seen an increase in demand for design consulting/strategy work?

Daniel Hecksher: Yes, it’s growing for us. And I find it quite interesting that a lot of the companies that are oriented within design don’t know everything there is to know about design.

Since this is what we do every day, it’s what we live and breathe, there is actually quite a big demand. So, we’re helping companies with everything from how to curate product ranges – like curating the line and doing colour palettes. We also do graphic design and work with companies to write briefs to the other designers.

The colour palette for the Magis stand.

You’ve designed the Magis stand at the Salone del Mobile Milan this year. Can you tell me the concept behind the design?

The work actually started with a project we did for Magis in Stockholm, for the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February. We’ve been talking with them for different things for a couple of years now and we’re getting to know the company and the brand. Then we started a discussion last year and Magis asked what we thought was lacking, from our perspective. They have so many super nice pieces of furniture, really expressive stuff, and really intelligent stuff, but we said, maybe that there was a lack of spatial context.

We started to play with the question of what would Magis look like in a three-dimensional, real space? So we tried to create a space that would match everything together, it’s not just about the furniture, but equally about the space.

Traditionally, Magis has been all about the white box. A gallery box space with podiums, which treat the products as icons. They are icons of course, but we felt that if you treat them too much as icons, then people will only buy them as icons, just one piece.

We wanted to create a space that lets people experience the furniture in the context of a whole collection. We wanted to show what you can do with fabrics, with a colour combination – whether it’s elegant or super bold. One of the obvious ways we could create a connection across the furniture was through colour.

You guys use colour a lot in your work, can you talk that through?

We know colour really well. We really do know how to use a colour palette and how to balance colours and make this beautiful thing that you just want to start eating the walls.

But it is just one element in a project and it’s not the only thing you’re aiming for. The aim is always to make something that creates positive change, it’s not just about using some beautiful colours.

For Magis on the stand here, the aim was to start finding a three-dimensional representation of the brand in a spatial context, which is a much bigger goal, and this is just a start.

Do you work in other places around the world as well?

We do work quite globally. Not specifically in Australia yet, but we are doing quite a few projects right now in China, both product and interior projects – retail and restaurants.

Is there a dream project you want to work on?

Oh yeah, there are a few, of course. I’m a surfer, so a surf hotel somewhere in Australia would be a dream for me.

We work so much, but you also need to be able to recharge, and for me, I like to spend time outside in nature. I love surfing and I love skiing, so being able to combine that a bit more would be a dream because the world we are in right now is a little bit disconnected in that sense. I love working in design, I live and breathe it every day, but I also love to be in the outdoors and if I could find a way to connect them, that would be amazing.

Follow @indesignlive and #milanindesign on Instagram for regular Milan Furniture Fair updates. Also catch our interview with fellow Magis designer, Konstantin Grcic.

Magis is available through Cult in Australia.

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