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Muuto Design: a different side to New Nordic
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Estimated reading time
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Muuto Design: a different side to New Nordic

You have surely come across this sentence if you’re familiar with the brand Muuto: Muuto comes from the Finnish term muutos which means perspective. But this is not entirely true. According to a number of different academics and several dictionaries, the term muutos means change.

Actually, it doesn’t matter a lot: Muuto was one of the brands which helped to bring New Nordic design, in other words contemporary Scandinavian style, to the attention of an international public. And this was achieved without using designers. How?

What came before the Muuto e27 light bulb

Kristian Byrge and Peter Bonnén started Muuto in 2006. Are they designers? No, no. But, they are convinced of two things: 1) it’s time to refresh everyone’s idea of Scandinavian design — everybody remembers Arne Jacobsen and Eero Aarnio’s icons, but we can go one step further — and 2) designers shouldn’t become entrepreneurs.

quote-divider
We do what we know how to do best, and the designers do what they know how to do best.
Kristian Byrge

Before starting Muuto, Byrge and Bonnén had already acquired experience in managing content and marketing. They didn’t want to become experts in interior design, but they did aim to become ideal business partners for the most promising Scandinavian designers and design studios. And this concept worked.

Peter Bonnén e Kristian ByrgePeter Bonnén e Kristian Byrge

Nerd chair
Cosy table lamp
Loom throw
Soft Grid cushion 50x50 cm
Elevated vase
Fiber Chair sled base

What came first, the Muuto e27 or the Muuto Dots?

The piece that contributed most to Muuto’s popularity was designed by a promising talent: the e27 light bulb designed by Mattias Stahlbom of Studio TAF.

The simplicity of this piece, made from moulding melted silicone into shape at extremely high temperatures, is perfectly in line with what Byrge and Bonnén wanted Muuto to be:

quote-divider
To make timeless design – from both a functional and aesthetics standpoint.
Kristian Byrge

However, the Muuto e27 wasn’t the brand’s first international success: in 2007 Lars Tornoe designed the Dots coat hangers. Perhaps the name might not mean much to you, but the Muuto Dots are circular wall-mounted coat hangers in different colours that you can assemble as you like. In fact, they were designed to be circular so as not ruin the clothes.

Lampadina e27 e attaccapanni Dots by MuutoLampadina e27 e attaccapanni Dots by Muuto
The Dots coat hook medium
E27 Socket pendant
The Dots coat hook small
E27 Socket pendant
Set The Dots coat hooks
E27 Socket pendant

Muuto Stacked and Muuto Unfold — Form Us With Love

But some products however are the solution to a problem: this is the case of the Muuto Stacked modular storage system. In 2008, Julien de Smedt asked himself: can a piece of furniture be both of general use and answer to specific needs? The Muuto Stacked modular storage system was his answer. With the modularity of this storage system, de Smedt interprets both the mass-production typical of industrial design and the way in which each person can customize Stacked to suit their needs.

Stacked by MuutoStacked by Muuto

However, in 2010 the manufacturing process used for Muuto e27 also inspired Muuto Unfold: a modern take, as well as being pleasant to the touch, on the classic industrial lamp. But what is Form Us With Love? It’s Muuto’s partner: a promising design studio from Stockholm which, two years after designing the Muuto Unfold, was named, by Fast Company, as one of the top 50 design studios with a future which will place it among the most influential practices.

Within little more than ten years from when it was first set up, Muuto has worked in partnership with many current top Scandinavian designers, offering them desirable international exposure: Muuto is sold in 52 different countries.

Lampada Unfold by MuutoLampada Unfold by Muuto
Stacked Shelfing Systems podium
Unfold pendant
Stacked Shelfing Systems ash module with backboard M
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