Svenja Diekmann is a product designer who splits her time between Berlin and Milan. We commissioned her to make a series of oak furniture pieces for our store windows.
We first met Svenja at her graduation show in Milan two years ago and instantly admired her designs. The pieces for our stores were based on her furniture concept “Schubladendenken“ which means
‘to think in drawers.’
What’s your background?
I grew up in Bielefeld with my parents and my sister. In 2006 I moved to Aachen to study Product Design at the University of Applied Science. Aachen is a beautiful old imperial city located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. During my studies I decided to go to Sweden to study furniture design at the Linnaeus University in Kalmar, and I completely fell in love with the country. At the end of 2010 I returned, this time to Stockholm and worked for the company Front. Our projects included designs for Offecct, Editions in Craft (the Story Vases) and the lamp company Zero.
You’ve moved around a lot – how do places inspire your work?
My second home is Berlin, which is a big part of my creative input. I love to explore this vibrant city with my boyfriend and I enjoy the character of its raw and unfinished, yet still cosy places. The mixture of cultural and historical aspects for me is incomparable to any other city in Europe.
My time in Sweden had a strong influence on my designs, and I was inspired by key elements of Swedish furniture design: minimal forms, high quality and an emphasis on practicality are all important. I believe, like many Scandinavian designers, that a beautiful environment has a positive effect for soul and life.
How would you describe your design approach?
I have a strong aspiration to make people happy with my projects, make them laugh or think about background stories. In general my work is characterized conceptual, on the border between design and art.
Could you tell us some more about the Mulberry project?
The furniture I made for Mulberry is deeply conceptual. It is a set of four oak tables, which are different heights allowing them to be arranged as a group in a playful and elegant way. They each have their own character. I really enjoyed the collaboration with Mulberry and I am glad that the result has been very satisfying for both sides. I am also delighted to have brought my Swedish-inspired design to a brand whose roots are truly English.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I always keep my eyes open on my beloved city trips. In my free-time I love to stroll around flea-markets, and I’ve had the chance to explore and enjoy different countries and cultures, which have all influenced me and made me able to think and design the way I do today.