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The future from a designer’s perspective with Matti Klenell


Our designers are up to date on upcoming trends and one step ahead in designing furniture. Offecct has therefore sent five questions to three of our designers to get their views on the future and what lays ahead. Following is Swedish designer Matti Klenell’s thoughts on how he sees the future as an opportunity and never a limitation.

What future challenges do designers face?
I hope that as a result of the current crisis we will also take the opportunity to fundamentally change other things. It is perhaps easier to implement revolutionary changes at a time when everything is upside down anyway rather than when it’s just business as usual. Naturally, we also need to focus a great deal on the climate issue. Designers face huge challenges as part of this process since we must be more meticulous, better, more critical, more proactive, and better prepared than ever before. Major social changes also bring fear of the unknown and anything new.

One essential task for designers in this scenario is to help make these changes comprehensible. Designers have a mammoth task in making the societal shifts we are facing attractive and inspiring rather than frightening. The future is never a limitation but rather an opportunity.

How is design affected and how should we act in the ongoing global collapse and environmental debate?
I believe it will be hugely affected and not for the worse, as we are surely heading for an era that focuses on core values and essence. We will also probably be drawn to working more in a local context and I hope there will be a greater focus on product development, experimentation, and in-depth exploration. Taking action can also be a matter of avoiding doing certain things.
The next few years will be a time when we will choose or be forced to take things slower, and that’s a good thing. Clients won’t be able to launch inferior products simply to build their brand and we will all need to work harder in that respect. Offecct is a company that I feel already has the makings of this kind of meticulous working culture.

In what direction will the next generation be, in terms of behaviors that will influence the design of the future?
It feels as if it’s time for a radical rejuvenation of society. A lot of things have been stuck in the same wheel tracks for a long time now and individuals who are not afraid of the untested and can see things with fresh eyes are needed more than ever. The environmental movement is very strong among young people today and we will hopefully soon see visible evidence of this within design and production. This is not yet the case, but it will come and it will entail greater changes than choosing natural materials and idle talk of timelessness, which we all know is prevarication in the absence of knowledge.

The next generation will influence sales chains, development of materials, and how we design and use public and private spaces based on totally different frames of reference than we have today. I feel confident and also hope to be involved in contributing to this.

How do designers look and act on new trends, and where are you at?
If I were to be completely honest, I don’t know right now. With the events of the past few months, everything is up in the air and I’m presently trying to understand where it may all end up, which, of course, I have no clue about, and every day brings a new surprise. However, as a designer and an individual, I’m not good at just sitting still. I want to be doing things and I need to express myself, so while waiting for the world to find itself again in some form I seem to be on the path to devising a working method in which I take greater overall responsibility.

I am trying to develop my projects more independently and I’m building up networks with craftspeople to have an overview of the whole process and the result in a different way than I did previously. It’s not a case of shutting yourself off from the outside world, but rather guaranteeing the quality of what you deliver in every aspect. The results will be quite different. In commercial terms, several of the projects I’m working on may now be in doubt, but they involve a great desire to experiment and incorporate loftier artistic aspirations. It’s very liberating and perhaps a positive thing that everything going on just now brings with it.

For Offecct, Matti has designed the sofa system Font.

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