Letting the work speak for itself

Words by Andreas Francisco
Photography by Bjørnar Øvrebø & Kyrre Kristoffersen
Portrait by Herman Dreyer

Design agency Everything Elevated was established with the mutual ambition and belief that there was a gap in the current design scene for a new type of creative studio. Before this, however, they were two guys in their mid-twenties who moved to New York with the intention of gaining true international experience. After several years in leading positions, working closely with high profile international brands, they were finally prepared for their ambition to create a company for the future, with a creative approach to business and ample room for experimentation.

Everything Elevated is based in both Oslo and New York. How does being bi-continental affect your work?
Currently we are busy growing our studio in Europe, all the while catering to a select group of brands and collaborators across the Atlantic, who we’ve developed great relationships with. We love the positive energy of New York and the number of incredibly talented people you get to work with, that makes just about anything achievable. Locally, Everything Elevated aims to leverage our experience to explore untapped potential for Scandinavian companies and help them find new ways to evolve in a global market.

Growing up professionally in both Scandinavia and the US has resulted in a lot of positive relationships with a wide array of different professionals such as photographers, scientists, architects, engineers, craftspeople and specialised industrial production. This has had a lot of influence on our work and has given us incredible freedom in exploring new typologies and appreciation for collaboration.

One example of this was our first official studio project where we needed to make a valuable impact to get noticed, but had no money. Luckily we had great sourcing and development help through our network to create what later became our Passivation project that felt exclusive and valuable even though it was made through low-cost manufacturing techniques.

Compared to when Everything Elevated was new, how have your ambitions developed?
We still consider Everything Elevated to be quite new, but we feel the studio has made great leaps by being prepared and always setting the bar high. Our backgrounds allows us to be more multidisciplinary in our work than most studios and we hope to grow these other sides of our story as well. When you think about it, creativity per definition should not be constrained in this way. Because of this we always set aside resources and time to develop personal studio projects free of project restrictions to keep evolving and to possibly inspire new collaborations.

It seems important for you to have a degree of anonymity, to let your work speak for you. Why is that?
We found that removing the personal focus gives the studio a different degree of freedom to find the best possible solution to a given task, without it being the expression of a persona. Our ambition is to have the studio grow—and a uniting name gives everyone working here their fair share of recognition for the work they put in.

What values are important to you in your work, which seems very planned and concept-driven?
Creating lasting values through well thought out communication is a core principal in all of our creative work. We see every project as an opportunity to elevate our collaborators potential to grow business through high quality creative work. In today's market we find that there is also an inherent requirement for actual quality and respect for people and businesses, and that those that try to defy this are ultimately destined to lose.

In the beginning of a project, you spend a lot of time and energy getting to the essence of the material. Can you describe the process of one of your works?
By getting to the essence of what we want to communicate with a project—be it creative direction or pure design work to help differentiate a project or brand from others—for that to truly work we first need to know what we want to communicate and what parameters we have to work with. When OTHR, anew American brand, that produces high-end 3D printed home-goods, hired us to design a press-worthy product for their brand launch—among some of the world's best studios—we wanted to tell a story about how far their technology has come by referencing the oldest tools known to man. The result became the handheld EE Juicer, in 3D printed porcelain, which has become one of their best selling products. We believe it has gained traction because it’s the right design and communicates the right story for the brand.

Similarly, when the The Royal Norwegian consulate hired us to design a pavilion to represent Norwegian Design in New York, we created an algorithm that generated patterns based on a single day’s weather forecast from four Norwegian cities representing North, South, East and West. These patterns formed the basis for the whole pavilion design and branding.

Your work seems to resemble early Scandinavian design, with your use of industrial materials such as steel and glass.
The studio had to start by using what we could afford, but it’s quickly evolving into who we’re working with and what ambitions they might have. In this sense, we believe that the power of having the right approach or idea is far more important than what material is being used. For Everything Elevated it was crucial to show an expertise reaching beyond giving form to something, but to also display a sophistication and thoughtfulness to our approach.

In this sense we’re not attached to any materials or discipline, meaning that when we start a project we look at what we have to work with and how we can elevate it. Be it a product, architecture, a brand, anything.

What do you feel is your contribution to the design industry of today?
We’re hoping to bring a fresh eye on what a creative studio actually does and to hopefully teach people something new. We love new challenges and few projects are more exciting than the ones we’ve never done before. By offering an approach that can be applied across typical industries Everything Elevated ultimately wants to help our collaborators find lasting ways to grow their business into the future. We believe that after enough, comes more—that ‘more’ is the crucial layer that elevates any project into the realm of being meaningful and relevant.

It’s important for you to set aside time and resources to do personal projects. How is the process different when you’re not working with a client?
The process is similar, however the starting point for studio projects is to explore new ideas and directions we believe in or want to know more about. This, in turn, gives us a wider knowledge base and helps inform all of our work in general. You could also say that it gives us a chance to put our money where our mouth is and that often leads to exciting new projects and collaborations. It's quite simple, actually. Creatives rarely get hired for what they can do. They get hired based on what they’ve done.