written by:
October 27, 2012
Originally published in Small World
as
New Nordic

Make way, Arne and Eero. Forward-looking furniture company Muuto turns the spotlight on 21st-century Scandinavian design.

Peter Bonnen and Kristian Byrge of Muuto

Muuto’s Peter Bonnen and Kristian Byrge at last year’s Designmuseum Danmark exhibition celebrating the company’s five-year anniversary.

1 / 9
Plus Salt-and-Pepper Grinders by Norway Says for Muuto

The museum recently acquired 11 Muuto products for its permanent collection, including the Plus salt-and-pepper grinders designed by Norway Says (above).

2 / 9
Designer Thomas Bentzen at his Copenhagen studio

At his Copenhagen studio, Bentzen creates designs and prototypes for Muuto and other companies, including HAY, Royal Copenhagen, and Normann Copenhagen.

3 / 9
Around Table by Thomas Bentzen for Muuto

Bentzen's ash and plywood Around Table was released by Muuto in 2011.

4 / 9
Mini Stacked by JDS Architects

Mini Stacked by JDS Architects, from $99

Courtesy of 
Petra Bindel © 2011
5 / 9
Nerd Chair by David Geckeler

Nerd Chair by David Geckler, $499

6 / 9
Soft Grid Cushions by Anderssen & Voll

Soft Grid Cushions by Anderssen & Voll, $109

7 / 9
Split Table by Staffan Holm

Split Table by Staffan Holm, $2,950

8 / 9
Pull Lamp by Whatswhat Collective

Pull Lamp by Whatswhat Collective, $429

9 / 9
Peter Bonnen and Kristian Byrge of Muuto

Muuto’s Peter Bonnen and Kristian Byrge at last year’s Designmuseum Danmark exhibition celebrating the company’s five-year anniversary.

“Six or seven years ago, we had a big retro focus in Scandinavia—everyone bought lights and furniture from the 1950s and ’60s,” says Kristian Byrge, creative director of the Copenhagen-based furniture company Muuto. The work of iconic figures like Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjaerholm, and Bruno Mathsson cast long shadows over young designers; as a result, “development was locked,” says Byrge. “Designers were looking to the past, reinterpreting existing designs rather than doing something new.”

Plus Salt-and-Pepper Grinders by Norway Says for Muuto

The museum recently acquired 11 Muuto products for its permanent collection, including the Plus salt-and-pepper grinders designed by Norway Says (above).

So in 2006, he and his business partner, Peter Bonnen, launched Muuto, commissioning pieces exclusively from architects and designers living and working in Nordic countries, with the goal of helping usher in, as Byrge puts it, a “great new era of Scandinavian design.” In addition to building a successful brand (the company’s name is a play on the Finnish word muutos, which means “new perspective”), Byrge and Bonnen wanted to free up designers’ creativity by encouraging experimentation. “Our aim was to build on the strengths of Scandinavian design—functionality, craftsmanship, a no-nonsense and no-flashiness approach—and add something we didn’t feel was there: a wider range of materials, of colors, of personal expression.” The resulting products—which include a fleet of new pieces set to be released this fall and into early 2013—push the boundaries of “traditional” Scandinavian design with innovative materials and forms. Here’s a look at some of the company’s greatest hits and newest commissions: the region’s next design icons.

 

Designer Spotlight: Thomas Bentzen

Designer Thomas Bentzen at his Copenhagen studio

At his Copenhagen studio, Bentzen creates designs and prototypes for Muuto and other companies, including HAY, Royal Copenhagen, and Normann Copenhagen.

Asked how Muuto picks designers to work with, Byrge replies: “We choose people with the greatest personalities, so they can design products with character, pieces that stand out without screaming.” Likewise, Bentzen was drawn to Muuto because “they are really nice guys, first of all—an important quality—with a strong development team and a very fresh, brave, and open approach to Scandinavian design.”

Around Table by Thomas Bentzen for Muuto

Bentzen's ash and plywood Around Table was released by Muuto in 2011.

New Releases

To foster the region’s next generation, Muuto bestows an annual Talent Award to the best student design; the winning entry gets put into production. This fall, the first-place Nerd Chair and Pull Lamp debut alongside products by more established designers.

 

Mini Stacked by JDS Architects

Mini Stacked by JDS Architects, from $99

Nerd Chair by David Geckeler

Nerd Chair by David Geckler, $499

Soft Grid Cushions by Anderssen & Voll

Soft Grid Cushions by Anderssen & Voll, $109

Split Table by Staffan Holm

Split Table by Staffan Holm, $2,950

Pull Lamp by Whatswhat Collective

Pull Lamp by Whatswhat Collective, $429

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016