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Exhibitions > COMPANY - Johan Olin

COMPANY - Johan Olin

COMPANY - Johan Olin

COMPANY is Johan Olin's & Aamu Song's & design duo based in Helsinki. COMPANY works in the field of design as artists, designers, produces and run their own shop Salakauppa in Helsinki.
They work by visiting factories and craftsmen (in Belgium, Germany, South Korea and Finland), seeing what they're capable of producing and then design products that correlate with the skills of the manufacturers. For COMPANY design means to celebrate the brilliant traditional skills and genuine materials.

Design Questionnaire

Q : When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?
A : Quite early in childhood. (But it was actually my Mom who decided that much before I realized it.)

Q : How would you define your design style?
A : Simple-minded.

Q : What would you do if you were not a designer/artist?
A : Probably my childhood dream - detective work. But then again, that's pretty much what I do nowadays.

Q : Where do you draw your ideas/inspiration from?
A : From meetings with the makers and manufacturers.

Q : Who do you consult about works?
A : My wife. She's also my colleague and partner in business.

Q : Which of your projects do you consider a success?
A : Our own production which is working with traditional manufacturers. It's hardly a success if you are to measure it with size or quantity but hence there are no middlemen in the process.

Q : Which of your projects do you consider a failure?
A : Nothing ever works as planned.

Q : What is the first design work you can recall?
A : Urban planning at the age of five. We designed and built a whole city with my brother on an island when we got stuck there for weeks due to a stormy weather.

Q : To what extent do you believe that design should be functional?
A : To a very extreme extent. I believe everything should come with a function first - the function itself can be something out of ordinary.

Q : Name a colleague you admire.
A : I don't dare to say colleagues, just idols; Enzo Mari, Bruno Munari.

Q : What have you learnt about design yourself?
A : That you always have to learn it again with each new work.

Q : What in your opinion is the greatest design invention in recent years?
A : Arg. No. I just tried Googling that but even internet don't know...

Q : With which personality from the past would you like to have coffee?
A : My grandfather.

Q : Which materials interest/fascinate you most?
A : Right now? Stone.

Q : What advice would you give a designer at the start of his career / What advice would you have liked to receive at the start of your career?
A : Hmm.. this is not an advise, more of a secret:
If you would know in advance exactly how much effort each project will take, you would never start them. I'm both happy and sad no one told me that.

Q : What are your future projects?
A : Only future knows.

 COMPANY - Johan Olin


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