The Swedish designer Jesper Ståhl is known for his distinctive Scandinavian design. His meticulous attention to detail and care for the user is evident in both his creative process and his own twist in the results. His work ranges from furniture to lighting and cutlery to tools and accessories. Jesper designed furniture for Design House Stockholm, bathrooms for Vedum, smartphone cases for Nudient, a bicycle for Skeppshult and lighting fixtures for Lystra.
Jesper has a Masters degree from the Royal College of Art London and has received numerous awards including the Red Dot Design Award, the three-time winner of the Elle Decoration Design Award, Swecast, Designplus and Design S – Swedish Design Award. His understanding and curiosity for technology, excellent execution and visual sensitivity have become his hallmarks. In his own words: Design is … and … but without that gut feeling, it’s nothing.
Today Jesper comes to us for Friday Five!
1. HB pencil
I always have a Moleskine sketchbook and an HB pencil with me. My main asset is my creativity, and using pen and paper is still the fastest way to gather thoughts and ideas as they arise. I don’t sketch primarily to make proper presentations – that’s drawing. Sketching is used for exploring, testing ideas, and jotting down thoughts that you might otherwise soon pass by. So that the drawing can talk to you and you get instant feedback. Sketching is an iterative process, so an HB pen is probably my most important tool.
Music is my muse, a constant source that encourages my creativity. When I was younger, my goal was to be a musician, but as a drummer I realized that I wasn’t up there. So I switched to design and soon found that this was my real calling. I have my vinyl collection in my studio and I love browsing through my 80s electronic music, the soundtracks of my life. I can’t imagine a life without music.
When I arrive at my design studio, the first thing I do is turn on my Rocket Espresso Machine from Milan. I like the art of making cappuccino, it’s not a science, it’s a craft. Because I am very focused at work, I often lose track of time. The cappuccino is my break. Just like an artist, every creative person needs moments to withdraw from work, to reflect and see things from a different perspective. Sometimes I make the espresso, mix in the foam milk and then forget to drink the cappuccino because it gives me a new idea.
I bought my first Mac in 1989. Since it was difficult to get to Sweden in those early days, I imported it from the USA. I’ve been addicted ever since. I realized that I could combine my interests in photography, graphic design, and technology. I found a tool to express my creativity! I soon turned to 3D digital modeling in the early 90s while at the Royal College of Art in London. And I still do all of my 3D (in alias) modeling, visualization, 3D printing, layout, and presentations on a Mac. Thank you, Apple. Without you, I would not have been able to use my creativity.
Out of five things that are important to me and my creativity, one would be the importance of input in order to experience things first hand: “In real life”. In addition to reading and observing other people’s experiences and conclusions, make your own memories to help you find your own perspective on things. I believe in the idea that you need great input to get great output. To find your own understanding and interpretation of things, to look for your own point of view. Explore places, people, architecture, art. So put on your shoes and start running, treat yourself to experiences. Look for alternative points of view. Don’t just follow in other people’s footsteps, take a walk in your own shoes, find your own way.
Work by Jesper Ståhl:
We have worked to create the thinnest, most precise phone case design on the market. While we’re adding features like an inner felt and built-in magnets, we also want to reduce the clutter and keep the case minimalist. Using the 3D design to examine all the details of the products, we have focused on the essentials. Each phone case contains a hidden inside message that can only be seen by the owner. Sometimes design and life is about your own satisfaction in knowing what is inside and not necessarily for all to see.
Stockholm – cutlery for Design House Stockholm
Designing a collection of cutlery and kitchen tools is the ultimate design project. It includes the functional aspects of ergonomics and production, but also artistic expression – strong visual, emotional and tactile qualities. It is a collection of everyday jewelry. My Stockholm cutlery combines streamlined, matt polished stainless steel with smooth black handles. Details like volume, balance and weight – the tactile properties of the material and the way the tools are in the hand – add to the overall impression of the meal.