Menu Design: Contemporary Scandinavian Aesthetics
Menu started as a small family business, but over the years it became a company which collaborates with some of the most talented designers, architects and entrepreneurs. Since 1976, the team has gathered creative people and craftsmen from all over the world. Menu’s design philosophy is quite simple: “We want to make the world better, less complicated and a little bit nicer to wake up to.” The idea of working with local designers allowed the brand to collaborate with committed individuals and experiment with a variety of design ideas and solutions. Maintaining Scandinavian aesthetics and quality in design, Menu nourishes the idea of comfortable, durable and modern objects, practical for everyday living. Menu works with a number of creative individuals and brands, including A Hint of Neon, Afteroom, Gridy, KaschKasch Cologne, Norm Architects, Søren Rose, Studiopepe, Sylvain Willenz, Tim Rundle and Tom Chung & Jordan Murphy.
Norm Architects is made of six talented individuals gathered together around the love for various areas of interest: industrial design, residential architecture, commercial interiors, photography and art direction. Norm Architects’ design shows deep respect to traditional Scandinavian design, reflected in their work through simple, minimalistic and refined style. The group searches for balance in all areas to achieve highest standards in form and beauty.
Søren Rose is a furniture and product designer from Copenhagen who founded his studio in 2008. After moving to New York, Rose realised that Scandinavian style, vintage stores and American industrial design could be a perfect combination and inspiration for his projects. This is how the Tribeca collection (series of lamps, pendants and chandeliers) came to be. Deeply committed to every project he does, the self-taught designer and entrepreneur lives for making his ideas come to life, and that approach results in high-quality products.
Studiopepe was founded in Milan in 2006 by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto, interior and product designers. Mami and Di Pinto work became recognizable for striking colors, shapes and materials. The duo functions on the strong belief in the power of beauty that can change the world. Studiopepe’s philosophy of design comes from experimentation, changes in design and affirmation of individuality.
Iskos-Berlin Design is a partnership of Boris Berlin and Aleksej Iskos. The company works within the fields of industrial, furniture and graphic design. The firm was only established in late 2010, but Boris and Aleksej have been working together for a number of years. In 1987, Boris co-founded Komplot Design, where Aleksej was employed as an assistant for more than 11 years. This long and fruitful cooperation has allowed them to develop a shared philosophy of design. In their own words:
“We see design as an art of storytelling. This story is normally quite complex, consisting of semantics, morphology, materiality, technology of objects and many other elements. But the clearer your story is, the more likely people are to understand it. The more surprising you make your story, the more likely they are to remember it. And finally the more you make people smile, the more likely they are to love it!
Our aim is to retain the best elements of Komplot’s philosophy of design and to make them sharper, clearer and more precise. At ISKOS — BERLIN, we look to experiment with new technologies and materials, to explore their impact on everyday objects. These objects have their own individual histories, which are also part of wider narratives of the way we interacting and thinking with things. By allowing the materials to choose their own direction, to speak for themselves, we try to bring a novel twist to this ongoing (and unending) story.”
Afteroom was founded by husband and wife Hung-Ming Chen and Chen-Yen Wei, both designers who came to Stockholm to finish their education and decided to stay, mainly inspired by specific Nordic design. Afteroom was born from a common idea to create a novel perspective in design, making functional, comfortable, simple, yet creative and beautiful pieces which they dubbed ‘Bauhaus Modernism,’ inspired by the famous style of architecture. Emphasizing “inevitable passage of time” they reveal inspiration in forms, materials and proportions.
KaschKasch Cologne was established in 2011 by Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider. This duo is committed to making timeless pieces of furniture and lighting design which brings “maximum out of the minimum”. Menu and KaschKasch Cologne collaborated in designing the Zet storage system – a minimalistic shelving system. The KaschKasch Cologne design comes from a wonderful dynamic – both designers work on every single detail together.
A modern way of living demands moveable products and flexible interior design. This concept emerges in the work of Tim Rundle. Founded in 2015 in London, Tim Rundle Studio focuses on product and interior design, developing uncomplicated pieces to simplify a modern way of living. With Menu, Rundle developed the TR Bulb, designed to be easily installed, even without any kind of experience. His inspiration comes from the idea of unity between aesthetic and quality.
Jonas Wagell is a Swedish architect and designer born in 1973. Wagell’s studio JWDA was founded in 2008 and is located in the Old Town of Stockholm, whilst recent clients and projects span from Scandinavia to China, Italy and North America. The studio’s architecture work is perhaps mostly known for the prefab house concept Mini House, early recognized by Wallpaper* Magazine which named Wagell one of the “world’s 50 hottest young architects” in 2008.
Today the work is primarily focused on product and furniture design, but occasionally the studio also consults with art and design direction. Jonas Wagell is trained in graphics and print, project management, communication, furniture design and architecture at schools including Konstfack University College of Arts and Crafts and Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm, as well as Parsons School of Design in New York City.