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Q&A with Ilse Crawford

Studioilse is a multi-disciplinary, London-based team that brings this philosophy to life. A team of architects, interior designers, product designers, and strategists work together to create environments where humans feel comfortable; public spaces that make people feel at home and homes that are habitable and make sense for the people who live in them. It means designing furniture and products that support and enhance human behaviour and actions in everyday life. It means restoring the human balance in brands and businesses that have lost their way.

We sad with Ilse Crawford before the launch of the Sturdy Stool in Stockholm to talk about her thoughts on design and the making of the stool.

What was your ambition with the Sturdy Stool?

To create a familiar, comfortable, and sturdy stool that can be used in many different environments.

How did you gather ideas and inspiration for this project?

By observing, talking and discussing with our colleagues and friends, and by drawing on our past and present experiences on projects. Stools are something that we constantly use and have difficulty finding ones that are comfortable, generous, and do not feel wobbly; that are easy to sit on.

What aspects challenged you the most in the design of the Sturdy Stool?

Making sure we had the right balance of hard and soft materials and the viable possibility of delivering a sturdy and flat-pack stool.

What was important for you when deciding on materials for the Sturdy Stool?

That the materials are solid and offer the most physical and emotional comfort. We are interested in staying connected to craftsmanship.

How did you organize the development of Sturdy Stool at Studioilse?

It was important that we started with a Studioilse team brainstorm, to capture our knowledge and experience of making interiors, since this is a type of product that we constantly use in our projects. We then created three different concept directions based on our findings and desires, and together with Made by Hand selected one to develop further. It was a very hands-on and collaborative process between Made by Hand, the furniture developer, and ourselves. We constantly looked at materials, finishes, and details that could be well adapted to different environments and uses, whilst giving us the most comfort and a feeling of craftsmanship. Nothing is extra.

When looking at the Sturdy Stool, what indicates that it’s designed by Studioilse?

The choice of the materiality and finishes, they are warm and familiar. It addresses a simple everyday need with empathy and understanding. It makes the normal special. The Sturdy Stool is Made By Hand’s first furniture design.

How do Sturdy Stools connect with the Made By Hand brand?

The sturdy stool supports stories of everyday life. It is familiar, authentic, and celebrates Danish craftsmanship.