Gustav Winsth trained as a mechanical engineer and studied product design at Beckman School of Design, giving him a unique approach that marries function with beauty, and an innate feel for things handmade. For him, the sustainability aspect is motivation to find new solutions and materials.
What made you choose to work with Verk?
– I like their concept. It’s timely, and the importance of sustainability is on everyone’s lips. You have to justify it if you want to work in an unsustainable material, which is a healthy development. The greenwashing that occurs in the industry irritates me. And I love Verk’s nerdiness. I mean, who makes their own screws?!
Did your work with the vase differ from how you usually work?
– When a product emerges in a digital 3D landscape, nothing is left to chance. It’s usually possible to predict a lot in the process, but the work with the vase is different, because here I made the blow mould and then had someone else take over and I relinquished control. The collaboration with the glassblower really fascinates me.
Tell an anecdote about working with the vase.
– When I made the very first prototype for the first vase, I was so happy. I thought it was perfect – just as I had imagined. I gave it to my parents as a gift. It’s at their house. But having progressed, I find I like the more swollen ones more. So, I actually think the vase at my parents’ house is the most boring one!
Why are you a designer?
– I’m a designer because it’s a profession I’ve always looked up to. Imagine being able to draw things and make something from scratch! I like to be involved from start to finish when I work on a product. I love the craftsmanship of it. That was what led me to train as an engineer, but the lack of creativity and freedom were what made me retrain. Looking back, I can see how this has influenced my expression as a designer. I have a different approach to the traditionally artistic approach. I put on my VR glasses rather than kneading clay.
Can design save the world?
– Yes, if you look at design from a broad perspective. Design can create new conditions and can twist and turn a problem from other points of view than those previously tried. We talk a lot about design and sustainability, and I feel that design must be able to save the world if you give it a chance every step of the way.