Johan Skoog is an industrial designer, who originally wanted to be an architect but the fascination with drawing and building furniture was to appealing. His design approach is always ”hands on” and the process often starts in the workshop rather than at the drawing table. So was also the case with the stoll V.JS.01, Johans first project for Verk.
Tell us about V.JS.01!
– What is so special about the stool is that it plays with the idea that quality in itself can be the mainstay of a design. It is a bit like when you cook – if you have just the one good ingredient, it can stand on its own without too many frills. In my case, I let the dovetail sink take play thelead role. It has long been a mark of quality in furniture manufacturing and my idea was to let it take up as much space as possible, which made it unique.
What was the brief?
– In this case, I was the one who contacted Verk with an already finished design. It turned out they were thinking of expanding their range with a stool, so for me that was a good thing. I was very lucky.
What was most challenging when constructioning V.JS.01?
– The production adaptation. Despite its relatively simple appearance, the stool is challenging to manufacture. All sides are angled, which makes assembly difficult, while the large salmon sinker requires small tolerances.
What is your favorite use for the stool?
– I like the fact that it works very well next to a low piece of furniture, a sofa or armchair. In that way it can be used to place your coffee on, but also pulled forward and function as a stool. The hallway is also a good place for it where it becomes more sculptural.
Tell an anecdote about working with the product!
– The stool is completely designed in the workshop. I went into the workshop with the idea that a stool generally has one, three or four legs with a round or square seat. Following that, I built simple models in full scale and in this way have worked my way up to the form. This means that there has never been a paper sketch on the podium but there are none the less than 17 models of varying quality that have led to the design.
Why did you want to work with Verk?
– I’ve been following Verk since they started in 2019. Their approach to sustainability is very much in line with my own philosophy, which is something I’ve been missing in the design sphere. It feels like a lot of sustainability work involves finding new materials and new methods that are often difficult to assess and understand. What Verk does is understandable and relatable. The uncompromising nature is also very inspiring. By limiting themselves to only Swedish materials, they challenge designers to think outside the usual framework, which creates new possibilities and whims that generate exciting encounters and opportunities.
How can design make the world a better place?
– The goal of design is to create objects that we experience as well thought out, well functioning and appealing. If we succeed in that, we inspire, relieve and improve people’s lives. This in turn creates time, space and willingness to work on the real problems that make the empire a better place.
What does a sustainable future look like within the design field?
– I have a 94 year old American grandmother whose favorite expression is “adjust, adjust, adjust”. That is exactly what we must do. To constantly change ourselves and not stick to how it looks now. As designers, we need more limitations to adapt to, it breeds creativity and leads to new ways forward. Works act as signposts through their uncompromising nature that forces designers to adapt, which in turn leads to sustainable and lasting results.