Mia Cullin is a Swedish designer and interior designer who graduated from Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design. She has worked with both Swedish and international companies since the late 1990s and is noted for her pared-down yet poetic expression. Construction and materials are close to her heart.
What made you choose to work with Verk?
– I said yes without hesitating when Simon called me. This is the company of the future with local production at its core. Totally uncompromising; everything is local. Verk shows that it can be done. We have to change the way we produce and consume – to keep sending things around the world is crazy.
In what way does your design contribute to a more sustainable society?
– This sofa is produced locally, using natural materials. But there are other aspects, too. Well-made furniture can be used for longer. And if manufactured locally, it can also be socially sustainable. You can keep track of all stages of production. Verk goes the whole hog. They are unerring, and you need that as a statement.
Did your work with the sofa differ from how you usually work?
– It’s difficult to generalise, but here, we’ve worked solely with local production and Swedish materials down to the last detail. No shortcuts have been taken. The sofa cushions, for example, are stuffed with Swedish wool and not plastic, as is standard today. I’ve never worked with a brand-new company before, and it’s been very exciting. This is a unique initiative.
Why are you a designer?
– It’s the most fun job there is. I love problem solving, aesthetics, construction, materials and function. I couldn’t imagine working with anything else!
Can design save the world?
– Design can do this both directly and indirectly. If we look at The Ocean Clean Up initiative, for example, it helps clear the world’s oceans of plastic, Monika Dahlstrand invented an anaesthetic mask for children with a built-in dummy, and the Hippo Roller water container allows women who fetch water in developing countries to roll the container in front of them instead of carrying it, enabling them to carry more water each time. Such products are an instant improvement to the life of the user. But we also feel better in well-designed environments, and rooms with natural materials, well-balanced acoustics and tactile surfaces.