Solo –  in the company of food   Eating scene, 2018   Solo  is an eating scene for a single person. The aim is to break today’s traditional way of eating alone at a restaurant through a series of instruments, arranged in a specific order, combined with a set menu. The eating experience is a melody, conducted by the instruments. By presenting different alternatives and choices along the way, there is also space for the guest to jam. To compose their own experience and make their own kind of music.  To slow down, think, look, taste, feel, reflect, evaluate, act and compose. To activate and stimulate the hands, the heart and the brain, to really appreciate the situation and to give time for oneself through the act of eating.  Solo —  in the company of food.   Handcrafted in Sweden.   Material: beech, marble (Perlato Rosato), glass, silver, sponge, ceramic, linen, rubber and cork.   Special thanks to Yasar Aydin, Hannu Hietamäki, Petter Brandt, Simon Klenell, Rasmus Nossbring, Emil Karlén and Astrid Textiles.   Photo: Petter Brandt     “”I’ve been exploring the act of eating and the scene that appears around the material food, through workshops, experiments and by collecting peoples’ personal stories  —  experiences and memories.     How can something so ordinary as the act of eating be so equivalent with the company of others, for us to consider it as a valuable moment? When there is no company around we intend to eat like pigs, swallowing pasta rapidly while holding the plate in one hand, or finishing half of our take away meal before we’ve even climbed over our doorstep. In a restaurant we’re often seated behind the bar, able to witness the chefs making food, or we’re in front of a screen whose purpose is to compensate the loss of human company and interaction.      When company is missing for the moment, our time for food, or the actual amount of time we’re willing to spend on the act of eating, seems non existent. Sometimes when we for a change really grant ourselves that time, we, or the people surrounding us, seem to be in a febrile state of mind, scanning and looking all over in search of some company.      The Barcelona based architect firm MAIO, is forecasting a change when it comes to housing and how tomorrow’s apartments will be equipped for their inhabitants needs. The kitchen doesn’t necessary need to be an obvious part of housing in the future. Today it’s possible to have your breakfast, lunch and dinner at places serving food 24/7. The way of living, including these options is linked to a modern lifestyle, high status and privilege.      The need of space and time for ourselves, also in the non-home-environment, is maybe more important than ever before. We’re multitasking and are always connected to our devices and the cloud. We’re living in an era of the eye, with our body seated in a chair, a couch or a bed. Except for our thumbs, that are swiping in patterns over the screens, the rest of our body is in relaxing mode. We are following the life of others through our social medias, and we even know what our neighbor is having for dinner only by swiping to the left, to the right, down or up. The moment we’re not in others company we connect ourselves and enter the digital world instead. Always in the cloud, never alone.     The body is biologically and through history built to be in constant movement. Designed to be able to carry children, to farm, to fish and to build  —  to move for survival. Today we’re facing problems such as overweight and back related injuries and issues. We’re literally sitting down and observing as our health becomes damaged and impaired. We eat processed food which contains unknown content, served on a silver plate along with the statistics of our nightmares, flown in from areas we know little of.      We happily accept, partake, bite, chew, close our eyes to avoid the truth and swallow it all down. What happened to the hand? Perhaps it’s no surprise that some of our most memorable meals are the ones where we ourselves are included in the act of making the food. Someone remembers the smell of freshly ground cardamom, another how important it was for the pancake batter to be entirely whipped clean without even a smallest lump of flour still hiding in it. The third, how a really perfect dough feels in the palm of your hand.     Through a series of instruments I want to show some of the potential that is to be found in the act of eating alone. To encourage a greater presence in the present moment through slowness and awareness. By slowing down a bit we can allow some space and time for contemplation and sensibility to grow within ourselves. By allowing things to take their time, we’re also opening up for creating something bigger and broader.     The table is tall and lengthened. The lone napkin symbolizes that it’s meant for a single person. I want the guest and the food to slowly wander side by side, being able to take pauses and make sensitive choices during the process. I want to encourage the guest to have a dialogue with oneself, but also with the food that’s presented - to see the food as the company.     Symmetric and repetitive lines and shapes create a rhythm. The scales of the instruments are customized for exploring the food, one by one, every bite for its own. To encourage sensitivity but also offer the guest the possibility to stay within the norms of what we refer to as acceptable table manners in our culture. By presenting a new setting, it’s also easier for the guest to break rules and manners. Or to come up with their own. The no right-or-wrong is hopefully creating a more inviting scene for those who aren’t familiar with our table manners, compared to a traditional table setting at a fancy restaurant.      The guest faces numerous options, such as a small nipper and toothpick instruments constructed with the purpose for moving bites of food. Another selection is a brush for sticky and wet ingredients. And for the dry parts the hand comes closer.     I don’t want to say that people should, or shouldn’t, eat this or that. But by slowing down the pace I think reflection and awareness around where the food comes from, flavors and combinations come automatically. But also by inviting the guest to be present in the process of creating that greater value. Perhaps the quality of the food is not determined by that exotic oyster, flown in from the other side of the world. Instead, maybe it’s possible to refine that locally farmed carrot and transform it into a new and exploding sensation of taste - an experience of food to remember.      Pipettes in the company of small glass bowls remind the guest of laboratories and the world of experiments. The number of instruments tell that the procedure can be repeated. You have more than one chance to try out your own combinations. To redo, to change your mind, to wander off and then return again. To compose and jam.     The hand blown glass is whispering to us about fragility and transparence. Ceramics and silver are familiar material choices in the current situation, but here presented in a new way and scale. Everything locally handcrafted. The table top in marble, the small plates of solid silver and the glass cloches make it possible to elaborate with both heat and cold in the process.      Some of us might be in a greater need than others, but I think that a more stimulating and activating eating process, can benefit many. A tool to use for help when it comes to how we value the time we share with ourselves, how we value our choices of food and how to increase the value of the act of eating. Solo  — in the company of food.””     Sofia Almqvist, designer, May 2018
       
     
  Monokel  Hallway/storage products, in production for Klong 2017  Monokel is a serie of three hallway/storage products; a hook, an umbrella stand and a clothes rack.  Material: powder coated steel and shiny brass.  For more information, please contact  Klong  or visit  www.klong.se   Photo: Mathilda Werngren
       
     
  Dropp pot  Pots, 2016  Dropp shaped pots or small storage baskets in powder coated steel, for indoor and outdoor use. Four different sizes and colors. Handmade in Sweden. In own production.   Material: Powder coated steel Colours: Anthracite grey, burgundy, pink, white  Price: 1950 SEK (small), 2250 SEK (medium), 2700 SEK (large), 3000 SEK (mega) Special colour: +500 SEK  Delivery time approximately 6 weeks.
       
     
  Rayray  Neon sculptures, 2017  Material: Stone and neon Each material mix, shape and colour is unique.   Made for Crooked Concept, 2017 For more information, please contact info@crookedconcept.com or visit  www.crookedconcept.com/store/   Price: 12 000 SEK  Photo: Mathilda Werngren
       
     
  Nean  Neon lighting, 2016  Neon lighting objects, inspired by lianas. The neon pipe is mounted in a powder coated steel construction and should be hung from the ceiling. Each neon "knot" is different and unique. Handmade in Västerås, Sweden. In own production.   Material: Neon pipe, powder coated steel l 2300 mm (length can be customized) Neon colours: Blue or red Steel construction colour: White  Price: 12 500 SEK Special size or colour: +500 SEK
       
     
  Dune   Tables and glass details, Klong Limited Edition Anniversary Collection, 2016    The three dimensional pattern impeaches on our preception of a traditional table, stirs the mind and encourages the unconventional. The hand blown glass bowls fit the indentations on the surface and can be shifted around. Dune is as much a table as a decoration in the room. The tables are made of stained oak, including glass bowls. The Dune set comprises of four tables and seven glass bowls with a limited edition of five copies.  Price: 40 000 SEK   Dune is a part of  Klong's  limited anniversary collection, launched August 2016;   "We celebrate 15 years by presenting an anniversary collection consisting of four seperate objects, produced as special limited editions. We have created this collection to illustrate our ambition to be a part of Sweden’s continued quest for innovation and sustainability, combining creative art and fine craftsmanship. Our objects demonstrate a unique expression."   Material: green-stained oak and hand blown glass details     Table 1: Ø 360 mm, h 395 mm  Table 2: Ø 360 mm, h 430 mm  Table 3: Ø 360 mm, h 465 mm  Table 4:  Ø 360 mm, h 500 mm  Glass bowl, small: Ø 90 mm, h 60 mm  Glass bowl medium: Ø 110 mm, h 70 mm  Glass bowl, large: Ø 130 mm, h 85 mm  Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  HOUSE OF DAGMAR x KOMPANIET  Collaborative Creation, 2015  " HOUSE OF DAGMAR  LAUNCHES THE NEW CONCEPT  COLLABORATIVE CREATION , WHERE YOUNG CREATIVES GET THE CHANCE TO INTERPRET AND CREATE WITH HOUSE OF DAGMAR AS THEIR INSPIRATION SOURCE. FIRST UP IS THE DESIGNER AND ARTIST SOFIA ALMQVIST – OWNER AND FOUNDER OF THE ART STUDIO KOMPANIET DESIGN. SOFIA GRADUATED FROM KONSTFACK 2014 AND IS CURRENTLY SHOWCASING AT ART BASEL IN MIAMI, 1-6TH OF DECEMBER. SOFIA’S CREATIONS STRETCH OVER SEVERAL FIELDS WITHIN DESIGN – FROM ART INSTALLATIONS TO COMMUNICATION, USING ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES. IN THEIR FIRST  COLLABORATIVE CREATION,  HOUSE OF DAGMAR IS LETTING SOFIA INTERPRET AND CREATE A PHOTO SERIES WITH ART INSTALLATIONS USING THEIR PRE SPRING 16 COLLECTION “LIBRE” AS PART OF HER INSPIRATION AND MATERIAL."    TELL US WHO YOU ARE?  My name is Sofia Almqvist and I’m running my own art and design studio Kompaniet, based in Stockholm. I graduated from Konstfack in 2014, after studies in both Sweden and Denmark. My projects stretch over different fields within design — from art and installation, to formgiving and communication, in all kinds of materials and techniques. Right now I’m exhibiting at Art Basel, Miami Beach.   HOW DO YOU DESIGN? WHAT TECHNIQUE DO YOU PREFER TO USE?  I love to try new things, to find my own ways and techniques. A big part of my work is about experimenting. My goal, the result, is sometimes very clear from the beginning, but the idea often changes and develops during the process. To me, design and designing is much about turning an idea, a thought, into something concrete. Something touchable.   WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE?  It depends on the object, the project and not least the context. Genuine materials such as leather and metal are always nice and challenging to work with. They have a lot expressions automatically which either strengthen my work and effort or the opposite – take over. Unexpected material mixes and combinations are also exciting to play with.   WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR WORK?  I don’t know, but I guess daily life? Objects and phenomenons that I observe and interact with every day. But different from day to day, depending on situation, location and mood. I’m really fascinated by textures and structures. It could be everything from a dirty mirror, spilled coffee or the viscosity of a marshmallow.   WHAT FEELING COMES TO YOU WHEN YOU DESIGN?  I feel free. My first idea often changes a lot, develops or replaces with something totally different. I make the design, I make the changes and I’m free to decide whatever it works or not. For me. In my design. How other people interpret it or think it’s another question…   WHAT COMES TO YOUR HEART WHEN YOU SEE THE PRE-SPRING 2016 COLLECTION?  I love the crushed velvet, the pleats and the knitted structures. The materials are as pieces of art in themselves.     HOW HAVE YOU INTERPRETED THE PRE-SPRING 2016 COLLECTION LIBRE IN YOUR CREATION?  To me it’s not about being free, it’s about breaking free. Or dare to break free. Be aware of fears, but never be afraid. Don’t let them guide you, fight them with your attitude. Charm. Crawl out of your shell and explore new dimensions, to meet the daily life from new perspectives and angles. Dream away for a while. Float as a butterfly. Hover over a stormy sea. Collect your dreams, let them grow. Explode. Don’t follow the Yellow Brick Road. Make it your own colour.   Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  Uni collection  Objects, 2016  Objects in three sizes/models that can be used as vases, carafes, buckets or as decorative solitaires. Handmade in Sweden.   Material: Stainless steel, brass     Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  Pom  Bar stool, 2015  Material: Powder coated steel, genuine leather (Tärnsjö) h 675 mm, w 400 mm, d 350 mm  Handmade in Sweden. In own production.  Price: 12 000 SEK Special height or colour: +500 SEK   Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  Dropp collection  Drop shaped objects, 2015  The Dropp collection contains drop shaped objects in eight different materials and sizes. Carafes or vases in marble, stainless steel and hand blown glass. A milk or sauce jug in ceramics, a napkin ring in silver, jewelry in gold and a small table or stool in solid elm.   The Dropp collection is a development of the project  Dropp (2012) , made for the exhibition "Are you talking to me?" at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, September 4-8 2015.   Special thanks to Hannu Hietamäki, Mikael Sjölund/VE Sten AB, Thomas/M. Johanssons Smide and Yasar Aydin.      Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  Baba  Glass cloches, in production for Klong 2015 (In own production since 2012)  Baba are glass cloches inspired by the decorated Russian dolls, the Babuschka. The transparent glass allows the user to decorate the dolls by placing a decorative object or a plant inside. The cloches act as greenhouses and are thus better suited for plants that can withstand high humidity. Baba comes in three sizes.  Material: hand blown glass, plate in powder coated stainless steel with brass detail.  BABA small: bottom Ø 95 mm, h 220 mm BABA medium: bottom Ø 125 mm, h 290 mm BABA big: bottom Ø 145 mm, h 350 mm  In production for Klong, 2015 For more information, please contact  Klong  or visit  www.klong.se   Photo: Tom Martinsen (first two) & Petter Brandt (the rest) Also shown in photo no 1: Oil lamp Patina, by Broberg & Ridderstråle for Klong
       
     
  Umami [new taste, tasty]  Table and table top items, 2014  In more and more homes, dinner is had in front of the TV, in the company of the computer or standing by the kitchen counter while talking on the phone. The sit-down meal, at the set table, appears to be losing both time and attention. This fact reflects the times we live in in many ways. Streamlining is central to our society. The meal thereby often means doing something else while you eat.  Through new, exciting physical objects I want to stimulate and encourage people to return to sitting down during meals. Through my own examinations and by drawing inspiration from other cultures, I want to create a place in the home that is inviting and which offers and reminds you of the meal as a moment unto itself.  I want to create a new, tasty dining experience.  Material: ash, steel, hand blown glass and ceramics  Table: Ø 1200 mm, h 720 mm  Glass bowl, small: Ø 90 mm, h 60 mm  Glass bowl medium: Ø 110 mm, h 70 mm  Glass bowl, large: Ø 130 mm, h 85 mm  Ceramic serving plate: Ø 195 mm, h 55 mm  UMAMI was nominated Ung Svensk Form 2014/15.  Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  Imprinta  Sitting object, 2013  Imprinta is a result of using the textile material in a new way. Instead of upholster a seat with a ”ready made” textile, the concept offers the user to make its own pattern. The pattern is a sign for that the seat has been used. Consequently, the user make its own, personal print on the object. The user is a part of the object. The user is a co-designer of the object.  The seat changes different from person to person. The user feels the breaking, hears the breaking and designs its own pattern. The covering, natural leather surface makes the underneath,  changable construction more and more visible over time.  Imprinta is a piece of art with a sitting opportunity. Every piece will be unique.   Material: powder coated steel, foam, stone plaster, leather  h 455 mm, w 400 mm, d 400 mm  Piece of art. Not in production.  Photo: Jonatan Härngren
       
     
  Bumling  Backpack and chalk bag, 2013  In cooperation with Carl Cyrén   The Bumling Backpack is a summation of all that Bumling stands for. Ingenuity and design, acting in symbiosis with high quality materials, bringing flexibility without ever losing eyes on the target. The roll top makes it waterproof and the high quality Cordura nylon ensures that you are more likely to damage the rock than your bag. Throw it off a cliff, soak it in water or bring it to work, the bag doesn’t care, we don’t care, it’s up to you.   Material: Cordura 500 den, Cordura 1000 den, genuine leather, stainless steel Features:  32 litres, roll top (adjustable size), three pockets   The Bumling Chalk bag is a way for Bumling to question the ­standards. Breathing life into a crucial piece of equipment that has been ­heavily neglected. Climbers need their chalk and this bag delivers it, no matter what. Roll it once and your cargo is safe, roll it twice and you can swim to your next project. No matter where you climb you can trust that chalk supply won’t be a problem, we’ve just made sure of that.  Material: Cordura 500 den, Cordura 1000 den, genuine leather, stainless steel Features:  5 litres, roll top (adjustable size), two pockets  Prototypes. Not in production.  Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  4:a  Playing houses, 2013  Playing houses in three sizes that are easy to mount yourself. The two wooden gables fit together and create a house with four rooms.   Material: Birch plywood  Small (blue): h 135 mm, w 330 mm  Medium (green): h 195 mm, w 475 mm Big (pink): h 270 mm,  w 675 mm    Prototypes. Not in production.  Photo: Petter Brandt
       
     
  Korkad  Bicycle saddle , 2012  In cooperation with Carl Cyrén   Korkad is created on the basis of the specific properties of the material cork - both the functional and visual.  The bicycle saddle highlights some of cork’s properties, such as elasticity, impermeability, recyclability and durability. To get a more protective surface, the saddle is treated with hard wax oil. The treatment enhances the cork texture and gives a satin-like, warm feel. The natural, lively texture tends to make scratches and small marks disappear. Instead of destroying the material, they will become a part of its natural look.  Material: cork  Prototype. Not in production.  Photo: Petter Brandt