Simple Storage Systems and Lighting by Design Duo TAF

“A recurrent departure point for TAF projects is that everyday objects by their very commonness can be made uncommon,” explain Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom, the design duo of Stockholm-based TAF, and “ordinary life, less ordinary.” The most striking aspect of their work is its simplicity – the pair looks for ways to make products really good without making them really expensive: a novel idea nowadays.

System. Designed by Mattias Ståhlbom for NC Möbler.

They create standard objects with a twist, thus they are simultaneously nostalgic and new. “People often feel they’ve seen our pieces before, but something is off,” says Ståhlbom. “The word in Swedish is igenkanning—recognizable,” says Gustafson. “From the beginning we had very poor clients, and it became our method to solve problems with cheap materials,” explains Gustafson. “Now,” says Ståhlbom, “we like to work that way. It’s durable and pragmatic.” Given the economic situation of today, this process and way of working is once again very appropriate. “Our products don’t exude exclusivity, in fact they are a bit basic,” Gustafson explains. 

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Storage. Designed by Mattias Ståhlbom for NC Möbler.

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Storage. Designed by Mattias Ståhlbom for NC Möbler.

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System. Designed by Mattias Ståhlbom for NC Möbler.

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Foto lamps. Designed by Mattias Ståhlbom in collaboration with Thomas Bernstrand for Zero.

TAF begins all projects in models, checking proportions and weeding out ideas. Ståhlbom claims that “maybe only one out of 10 works.” System, credited to Mattias Ståhlbom, is a storage system designed for NC Möbler. The modular typology enables it to be configured in a variety of ways; its slotted grips forming dynamic patterns in an otherwise basic system. System 700 is the basic unit and System 701 a larger, taller piece. They can be stacked or positioned side-by-side to create various configurations and provide adaptability (and longevity).  In white, wood or a rich color, System provides classic storage in a clean and contemporary aesthetic. 

Ståhlbom’s Foto lamps, designed with Thomas Bernstrand for the Swedish lighting company Zero are a contemporary interpretation of classic photography equipment, though this time – they’ve ended up on the other side of the camera. “Lamps are not built to last anymore,” says Ståhlbom. “I like those old vintage lamps with patina. It doesn’t matter if it gets a bit bent, it still works.” TAF’s A4 wastepaper basket for Nola also exemplifies their approach product design – simple, yet intriguing.

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