Can you imagine all the things in the world? All of them invented, designed and shaped by a human being. Have you ever looked at something and thought to yourself when, where—not least, how—did this thing come to life? It doesn’t happen that often, after all the world is crowded with things. However, once in a while we come across an object so sensational and different, that we just can’t stop thinking about it. Who made this? How was this made? When Erik Olovsson starts on a new project, these questions are his ultimate goal. He says it’s all about curiosity and experimentation, and a wish to make things never seen before.
Hi Erik! A short introduction, please.
I work as an independent designer based in Stockholm, where I run my own design studio «Studio E.O». I work with limited edition pieces for galleries and larger productions with design companies. My first encounter with design was when I was a child playing around with our old computer and found Photoshop for the first time. I got hooked and started to make collages. I then had a long love affair with 2D images of all sorts (and still do) which later I’ve been trying to convert into 3D objects. I still try to learn and get inspiration from images and graphic as well as materials and objects; mixing these two worlds is usually how I work through my projects.
Looking and reading about your projects, experimentation and ‘play’ seem to be a huge part of your process. Is this important to you?
Yes it is! From my point of view this is the only way I can come up with new discoveries, to do more things and experiments without having any restrictions or limitations. Start with an intuition and run with it as far as you can, the more the better.
How is the usual process of creating your projects?
One new thing I’ve started with lately is to sketch on my iPhone, it’s very fast and a nice way of saving your ideas. I usually work with a huge amount of ideas in both drawings and small models before I select a few that I continue working with in greater detail. And as you mentioned, I also try to make small daily design exercises to come up with new techniques and ideas.
The things you’ve created don’t look like anything we’ve seen before. The gorgeous vases, for example. Where do all your ideas come from?
I try to make an object that I would like to see or have for myself that doesn’t exist yet. In the beginning of the process I think it’s important to work, and not knowing where it will end up, will it be a butter knife or a shelf? For me this process works pretty well and hopefully generates interesting projects.
What’s good design all about?
Something you like, but you don’t know why.