13 Questions to Swedish Designer Karl Malmvall

, , , By Catherine

Stockholm-based Karl Malmvall, a designer, design manager and product development manager. He has worked several years for IKEA, and his client list includes Design House Stockholm, Thule, HillerstorpsLundbergs, and Torkelson, among others. He takes his role as an industrial designer very seriously, and he’s on a mission to design products that are not only beautiful and functional, but that can also be successfully manufactured. With the launch of his own company recently, I wanted to know more about this talented designer.


1. Tell us more about yourself. How did it all started?
My grandfather founded furniture company Karl Andersson & Söner in 1898, and my father designed a lot of furniture there. I grow up in the sawdust and learned a lot from my family’s experience. Enter art & craft school Malmstens furniture studies and Architect school in Aarhus Denmark. My first job after school was at an Ikea design studio in Switzerland, and I worked for them 12 years in different countries.

2. Best thing about being a designer:
Meeting a lot of interesting people and learn new things on every new projects.



Photo: Small Space Solutions

3. What inspires you?
See problems and solve them.

4. What is your design philosophy?
Find problems and solve them.

5. Any special projects at the moment?
I start together with a former colleague a new company, Small Space Solutions: Inspired by Scandinavian design, we simplify and enhance everyday objects. Our focus is furniture for compact living.



Photo: Small Space Solutions


6. You, in three words:
Patient, stubborn, problem solver

7. What is the best advice you ever received and from whom was it?
“Get a great mentor”, Werner Panton, designer.

8. What advice would you tell your younger self if you could?
Listen more to him (myself), haha! Start my own studio earlier, and finish the diploma in Architect school.



Photo: Small Space Solutions


9. Dream subject/assignment/collaboration?
I am now doing it with my own company Small Space Solutions Ltd after 25 years collaborating with Ikea!

10. If you could invite somebody for dinner, famous, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Ray & Charles Eames – Looking happy and very avant-garde designers who do very comfortable and lovely chairs.

11. Best Scandinavian city and why:
Stockholm of course, we have a great, young talented designers and we are very open minded for new things.



Photo: Small Space Solutions


12. Something on your bucket list:
Move back to Asia and Bali.

13. What is your all-time favourite design piece(s)?
I should say, as design rule No.1: My own latest new design! But otherwise the Panton chair for Vitra was so many years ahead and is still classic.



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