Nils Ahrenberg is a German-Swedish designer, equally interested in problem solving, carpentry and aesthetics. He studied at Design Academy Eindhoven before, via an Erasmus scholarship, following his roots to Konstfack in Stockholm, where he subsequently got swooped up by Verk. The bookshelf V.NA.01 is one of his first designs in production. Needless to say, we expect great things from him in the future.
Why have you chosen to work with Verk?
– We have the exact same philosophy. The idea behind Verk is exactly what drives me as a designer. For me design is the process of change; it is a dynamic process of trial and error, striving to solve a problem, – to make something better, more beautiful, more functional and more sustainable. We at Verk have dedicated ourselves to only work with natural materials. That migth seem like a step back in technology, however it is an important step forward towards the future.
In what way does your design contribute to a more sustainable society?
– These shelves are made out of wood. Wood is a sustainable material, if the production is done in a sustainable way. We make sure to use Swedish wood and being here, in Sweden ourselves, we are close enough to monitor what happens to the wood all through the chain. One should be on the lookout for really cheap wooden furniture. They might be the product of illegal logging.
Did the process differ from how you normally work?
– No, this exactly how I prefer to work. My process usually starts with me doodling something quite random and then fine-tuning it on the computer. Then I work on the prototype in the workshop. I love to be the maker as well.
Why are you a designer?
– I have been dreaming of being a designer since I was young – even though back then I didn’t really know what design was. I always enjoyed all kinds of creative activities. During my schooldays I was fortunate enough to deepen this passion. I always wanted to make things the way I wanted them to be, not following somebody else’s norms and standards. I was very passionate about crafts and design, however I didn’t believe that I was good enough to apply at design schools. Then I just went for it – and got accepted.
Can design save the world?
– When we give form to people’s surroundings we influence how they will feel and behave. I believe that good design can make people more attentive, more mindful, more concerned about what is happening to their surroundings and to the world. Designers form the surroundings, then the surroundings form us.