Stefan Borselius, Sweden (*1974)
45 products of 2 manufacturers.
Stefan Borselius has been showered with design prizes and honours for his furniture, including the Red Dot “best of the best” award in Germany, the Furniture of the Year award in Sweden and the Golden Chair award from the Swedish Association of Architects. His work is also represented at the National Museum in Stockholm.As his final examination test piece, commissioned by Volvo, he designed a sleek, exquisitely crafted chair, christening it the VEC. The chair, which combines the comfort of a car seat with a design idiom all of its own, was inspired by the materials used in and the sensation of sitting in a car. “Hatching ideas for new furniture is not the problem,” says Stefan. “The difficult part is knowing which of these to reject and which to choose and put into production. That’s where the appeal lies in designing furniture for Blå Station. There aren’t many people in the business who work like they do – or dare to take the risks they do.”
Stefan Borselius is an ingenious designer, with a quiet, cerebral approach that reveals his true nature. When he breaks the silence, however, he is as amusing as a wordsmith as he is inventive and aesthetic as a designer.
Fredrik Mattson, with whom Stefan collaborates from time to time, already had one foot in the door of Blå Station before Stefan came here. Their first joint design for Blå Station was Sting, a stacking chair in aluminium. Sting is a product of irrepressible curiosity, tenacity – and the finely calibrated tools of Sapa (Scandinavian Aluminium Profiles AB). Once idea had been transformed into reality, success was a foregone conclusion, and the chair is now sold worldwide.
Their next joint project for Blå Station, the chair Snooze, was the big talking point at the 2004 Furniture Fair in Stockholm.
“Few people work like Blå Station. It’s quite a small company, but a particularly fascinating partner. They’re bold and dauntless, and they have something of the Italians’ willingness to take risks. Johan Lindau can spot a good idea when he sees it, and he knows the ins and outs of the industrial and technical sides of the process like the back of his hand. That makes for some very creative discussions,” says Stefan.A capacity to think in technical terms and a problem-solving ability are among Stefan’s own greatest strengths. “They’re just tools of the trade,” he says. “But it always feels good to discuss things with people who share the same insights and understanding.”
Stefan’s latest chair for Blå Station is called Peekaboo. This contemporary wing chair doubles as a tiny, self-contained sanctuary for contemplation and owes more than a passing nod to the ideas of Bruno Mathsson. Mathsson himself once sat down in a snowdrift in order to produce a perfect imprint of his body, which he then used as a template for a comfortable chair. Stefan’s Peekaboo offers the same high level of ergonomic comfort. He may not have gone as far as to sit in a snowdrift, but he has shaped and scraped the polystyrene foam to produce exactly the right curves and volumes in the seat.
“You should be able to sit comfortably in a piece of furniture,” he observes.Peekaboo is the perfect chair for anyone who does not want to be at everyone’s beck and call all the time. Simply pull the hood down over your head and you will be left in peace without feeling cut off from reality. A little window in the hood keeps you in touch with what’s going on around you. The chair is also available without the hood – more conventional in style, but still as a brand new take on the traditional wing chair.Stefan thinks that finding names for his pieces of furniture is more difficult than designing them.
“I invest so many feelings in my designs. It can take years of sketching followed by months of round-the-clock-work to develop a product. It’s a bit like thinking up a name for a child,” he says.