Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm

DENMARK (1977)

For Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm, inspiration comes from observation. “If I want to design objects for real people, I have to know about them,” she explains. Born in Glostrup, Denmark, to a Swedish mother and Danish father, Halstrøm is also naturally influenced by her Nordic roots. “I have been drawing since I was very young, so that has always been a part of how I spend my days. My parents encouraged it, so I never lacked materials. My grandfather made garden furniture, and my grandmother was really good at crocheting and embroidering. So when I spent my childhood summers with them in Sweden I learned a lot.”

More recently, she has taken cues from traditional Japanese architecture and design, with its focus on function. “My starting point is always some kind of everyday scenario that I analyze and figure out how I can improve the situation somehow.”

After studying in Stockholm and Berlin, Halstrøm graduated in 2007 from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and established her own studio that same year. Close to the royal palace and Designmuseum Danmark, she’s located in “one of the oldest neighborhoods in Copenhagen, where all the buildings are crooked.”

While Halstrøm mostly focuses on commercial products, she also organizes and exhibits in experimental design shows. “Participating in exhibitions is one of the areas I most love, a space where I can explore a certain theme or situation in depth and develop as a designer,” she says. “Many of my exhibition projects have been developed further for production, as in the case of the Georg Collection for Skagerak. The stool was originally part of the official Danish exhibition, Mindcraft, during the Milan Furniture Fair some years ago.”

The Georg Collection (2013) went on to win an Elle Decoration Swedish Design Award for “Best Bedroom Product” in 2016. “When I was working on the Georg stool, my son Georg was ill, and I had him with me in the studio for a month,” she recalls. “He quickly grew tired of watching movies and started asking questions about the stool: Why are the legs like that? Why is the pillow sticking out? So when I had to name the stool, it naturally became Georg. My son Aldus is getting his own furniture line as well, which he is very much looking forward to.”

In 2014, Halstrøm joined with textile designer Margrethe Odgaard to form Included Middle. Together they design products that draw on the inherent gap and intersection between their two fields, grounding themselves in the question, “What if color and pattern influence form, and what if form influences color and pattern?”

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