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TAF is a Stockholm based design and architecture studio founded by Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom. Since its foundation in 2002, it has achieved international acclaim with a portfolio of work spanning touring exhibitions, interior design and a number of commercially successful products for different prestigious manufacturers. The studio has been exhibited at MoMa and its designs are now part of the permanent collections of Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen.
TAF‘s studio on Södermalm is located in a converted bakery that used to serve the neighbourhood. There is a nice twist to this, as TAF aims to fulfil a similar function as the bakery through its design — one where design isn't seen as superfluous but integrated into society on all levels, like the daily loaf of bread.
From this hotbed of the everyday, TAF creates products of extraordinary quality. Through a process of careful investigation of materials and construction techniques and a healthy dose of discussion, the finished product is often both humorous and thought provoking; pendant lamps inspired by rubber bands and soda cans; tables made from oversized ice cream sticks; a doctor's surgery inspired by plasters; or a sculptural staircase built from cheap off cuts of kitchen worktops.
The process of tweaking readily available materials and using them in new and innovative ways demonstrates TAF’s preoccupation with context and origin. The references are never overtly obvious, but once you know that plundering the landscape of mass produced consumables is part of TAF’s process, it’s impossible to look at one of its products without thinking: “Where have I seen this before?” The chances are you‘ll never know.
Johanna Agerman Ross