jonas pettersson, CEO of form us with love, discusses circular economy

jonas pettersson, CEO of form us with love, discusses circular economy

bringing together global creative thinking, MINDPARK 2018 is a conference aiming to inspire creativity, commerce and culture research. the conference in shenzhen, which is co-hosted by TOPYS, china’s most popular integrated creative platform and C future city, unites the world’s top creatives to challenge design thinking and traditional regulations, as well as discover new business directions. one such entrepreneur was jonas pettersson, CEO and co-founder of form us with love, who spoke at the 2018 edition on the theme of ‘driven by design’. after the talk, designboom sat down with jonas who discussed his background as a designer, past and future projects, and the philosophies that define his and his studio’s creation, such as the circular economy.

form us with love team



designboom (DB): what is your background as a designer; how did you first get involved in design and where did the impulse come from?



jonas pettersson (JP): myself and john löfgrenwe graduated in 2005 and, on the same day, we registered form us with love as a company. it was our first creative job so little did we know, but we shared the same passion – a strong belief in using design as a tool to create real change. I believe that passion trumps everything; its our promise, it is our guide in everything we do. there is no point going to work if we do not love it. that is why we decided to name our studio as it is, ‘form us with love’.

the CEO and co-founder of form us with love jonas pettersson



DB: how do you define circular design?



JP: circular design or circular economy is a term to redefine our liner consumption. we, at form us with love, like to call it resource economy. in other words, it is how materials that surround us can potentially be brought to the origins of its process and, in that case, generate a sustainable economy.

BAUX acoustic panels



DB:  as well as circular design, what other topics of industrial design does your work explore?



JP: a theme that we find very interesting, which, again is related to circular design, is the application of rubbish. I think that it will be extremely important to make better use of garbage in the future. this is a new type of resource, one that will be even more plentiful in the future. people should pay more attention to using this resource and changing it into useful materials.

BAUX acoustic panels factory worker



DB: as designers, how are you able to help create sustainable change?



JP: we can influence as designers, but it is still up to industrialized companies to move in this direction. at some point, they will have to become more sustainable, otherwise there will not be enough resources to create a sustainable economy. from our perspective, we do our very best to be informed about resources and to use them as wisely as possible.

BAUX acoustic panels




DB: what principles define your design philosophy?



JP: design, I believe, is about listening. when we listen, we are more likely to understand the world around us and, at the same time, create relevant designs for the future. I simplify design into two areas; culture and industry. with the former, we explore everyday problems – big and small – but always from the beginning to stay relevant. however, with industry, we explore opportunities, both in terms of business and sustainability. we believe that design starts at the factory floor. by understanding materials and production technologies, it makes designing much easier and economical. we design with a balance between culture and industry but, importantly, we listen and digest a lot of information in order to find that simple idea. 

ateljé lyktan hood
read more about this project on designboom here



DB: with your focus on researching, how does information influence your design process throughout a project?



JP: I find that creative people are just that because they are obsessed about exploring ideas and information in depth. by doing so, you eventually come up with something relevant. however, it is like searching for a needle in a hay stack, and, to do so, we need to filter the information. taking decisions is a very important factor as well. from all the information, only a small amount of it is actually relevant. that is why designers constantly need to make decisions. in our case, we believe in a democratic approach, where anyone in our team are able to make these decisions. the process is like a funnel with many cross roads of decisions, but, eventually, something relevant appears.

IKEA kungsbacka



DB: a recent and notably project of form us with love is the IKEA ‘odger’. what was the starting point behind this design?



JP: as IKEA are known for their flat pack furniture, this project addresses the problem of the younger generation where they expect things to just work and are not used to reading manuals. in an intuitive approach, we explored whether constructing furniture could not only be simple but also fun, whilst IKEA wished for waste plastic and wood materials to be reused. by understanding its properties, we realized that the material could be moulded and, at the same time, provides a warm tactility. something extremely tactile, as well as universally intuitive, is a handle. we created one from this waste material, which can then be used to assemble the ‘odger’ chair.

IKEA odger




DB: in your opinion, what are the most impressive challenges encountered by form us with love so far?



JP: we are drawn to a constant flow of new challenges so, in that sense, it is usually our latest project.




DB: who or what has had the most profound impact on your design career?



JP: there have been so many that I cannot name just one. I am fortune to work with passionate people who surprise me daily.

MDD new school



DB: what upcoming projects are you working on and are able to share with our readers?



JP: we are very excited to share a new collaboration that we are planning to launch during neocon in chicago in june 2018.

MDD testing grounds

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