Three questions to Inga Sempé

Inga Sempé is known for her delicate and playful designs. In an interview she tells us how diverse her portfolio is and what she has planned for this year.

Alexander Russ: What projects are you currently working on?

Inga Sempé: One of my current projects is the wall and recessed lamp "Matin", which was presented by HAY in December 2021 as an extension of the table lamp of the same name. In 2022, we will also launch a ceramic casserole and other cookware for Revol – a historic French manufactory specialising in porcelain cookware that has been around since 1768. The collection is due to be launched in autumn 2022. We have designed a total of five sizes for the casseroles, called "cocotte" in French. In addition, there are different ovenware with three different enamels. We have also designed all the accessories for the collection, such as the serving spoon holders, lid holders and some small sauce pans. In addition, we will present a collection for the Finnish brand Iittala this year. Plans include large, mouth-blown glass bowls, bed linen and cushions, as well as a collection of glass photo frames in five different sizes. At the Salone del Mobile 2022, we also want to present cabinets made of curved mirrors for the Italian brand Glas Italia. We are also planning a collection of three wooden stools for Articles, a small Swedish company whose artistic director is Björn Dahlström. We are also working on ceramic tiles for the Italian company Mutina and lighting for Hay and Wästberg, ranging from a small battery lamp to a large floor lamp. There are also carpets for nanimarquina and fabrics for Kinnasand.

How has your approach to product design changed over time?

Inga Sempé: It has always appealed to me to work with a company that offers serial production. I find inspiration in everyday life, so I try to design ideas, systems or shapes that are easy to use and improve daily life. That hasn't changed until today and was my point of view when I was still studying design. What has changed is that I am more and more aware of the difficulties that companies have to face – for example in production or the investment costs for tools. Otherwise, my approach is still the same: I like soft and delicate objects that might be a little different, have charm and might appeal to people from young to old.

Your work also includes a focus on luminaire design. What fascinates you about it?

Inga Sempé: I am interested in luminaires because it is a very diverse typology. This means that you can work on several models at the same time without getting bored – whereas it would be extremely monotonous for me to design two sofas at the same time because the volume is more or less the same in each case. Also, a light has to be beautiful when it's on and off. And it should be movable, mechanisms fascinate me. But I always love the typology of the object I'm designing – even if not at the beginning, but during the work, when I'm dealing with it.

Luminaire design by Inga Sempé: W103, W153 and Lampyre for Wästberg, Cappuccina for Luceplan, Vapeur for Moustache, Matin for HAY