The Transformation Of A BRAND
It began with the question ”what would you have done”? Directional furniture brand Voice needed a new course for the future and designer Mattias Stenberg was asked for his opinion. His answer evolved into a creative effort to oversee a generation shift and curate the new collection.
Mattias Stenberg recalls how it started in early 2017. ”Me and the people behind Voice had been speaking for a couple of years. Voice was entering a phase were many things had to change, and I was asked by the Managing Director what I would do if it was up to me”, he remembers.
A self-described one third designer, one third engineer and one third brand strategist, Mattias couldn’t resist to take on the challenge. His suggestion was to build on the brand history of storage but expand it into a new standard of organizing, creating a collection of functional and timeless fundamentals for the modern home.
”From early on I had a strong feeling of something missing on the furniture market. An updated line of premium basics with great attention to detail and craftmanship”, he says.
Mattias invited acclaimed designers Nina Jobs and Cate&Nelson to be part of the effort. Nina Jobs had created designs for Voice in the past and Cate&Nelson were on board for the first time, a diversity that Mattias cherished.
”It’s been a fruitful cooperation. We share a belief in the importance dialogue and a conviction that there is more to design than drawing outlines. My main job has been to suggest and calibrate a new course. What is the brand about? What should the collection look like? Voice history is in storage and its root will stay in storage, but expanded to organizing and displaying”, he says.
The new direction is expressed in products like the Aino storage trough and the Tre stand-alone shelf. They are products that store their contents, but also display it. Thus, they are not merely functional utilities but creative tools for the user.
Mattias spent a lot of time going over detailing, color palettes and materials. The material of choice is American ash, slightly warmer and more lively than its European relative. Warmth, he decided, was something that the understated collection needed.
”The difference between austerity and what we do lies in the detailing and the craftmanship. I wouldn’t call it minimalism, but perhaps reduction. An editing of the object down to something very natural”.
Mattias expands on his views on design and how we experience it with all of our senses, not just sight and touch. How the experience of a soft sofa is in fact made up of a chronological series of events. It looks soft. It feels soft to the touch. It gently supports and envelops the body as we sit down.
”It is a sequence. Something we experience first, something we experience after that and, hopefully, something we experience in maybe a years time. That’s what we try to achieve with Voice. We look at design a bit like an onion. The product is made up of layers of attributes to be experienced one after the other.”
And when these visual, tactile and functional experiences are stretched out in time, he argues, the lifespan of the product grows long.