Eva Schildt for Skandium

I grew up on a small island in the archipelago outside Stockholm. There were no cars, just a lot of old wooden summerhouses and a forest in the middle of the island. Everyday I took a boat to go to school. So of course, my whole life revolved around the sea and the weather. Was it going to be sunny, rainy, windy, icy? Many of my product designs are somehow relating to the battle between objects and the elements. As most kids who spend a lot of time on their own, I created my own world of imagination. The way you are both perceptive towards your inner self and the world around you is the starting point for any creative process. An inner connection creates the basic platform for the ability to be perceptive to  outside  influences  and  I think  my  father  inspired  me   to   work   with converting my viewpoint into creating objects.

This made me choose a design education and become what I am today. My father was a surgeon. Living in the country on an island meant, it was important being practical and self sufficient, as it has always been for all island communities throughout the centuries. Through generations island folks needed to be able to live off the land, the sea, build boats and houses including the vessels used for daily needs and the fabrics made into clothes. One wrote poetry and played instruments to entertain during long winter evenings or light long summer nights. This was a way to live, deeply rooted and more important than earning a lot of money or running after a career. Living   the   way   we   did,   a   bit   away   from   ordinary   suburban   life, fundamentally formed me. My  life  today  is  living  in  the  centre  of  Stockholm,  with  my  family and an Australian  Shepherd  dog.  Besides  designing  objects  and  furniture, I have a   passion   for  colours  in  a  nerdy  way.  I   love   mixing   wall   colours   in numerous versions, blending and blending until they fall into place for the purpose intended, until the colour fits the concept, the language of the room, building, interior. In the end it will have to tie all aspects together, embracing them, making them a whole. To start with, one thinks there are endless choices, but soon most are eliminated, coming down to only very few, the ones reflecting the character of the building and its purpose. I love building conservation, the way to restore old buildings is upheld, forced   to   learn   old   craft  techniques. Natural materials and clever craft, reflecting who we are through time. It focuses on knowledge and quality in execution, unbeatable, if one wants to be sustainable and long lasting. I  also  have  a  passion  for  landscape  design.  My job seems pretty simple compared to designing a garden. There one has to consider so many more aspects with so many more parameters,  such  as  the  constant  growth,  the  changing  seasons,  the change of light during  the  day  from  cool  to  warm,  shadow  to  light.  The timeline of nature may be a lifetime or more…. those things are fascinating…

I don’t read so many books, there is so much to do…. and I always drink tea and never coffee.  I  love  Tokyo,  I  have  lived  and  worked  there  for  years.  It  too  has shaped me profoundly and I found many things in that far away culture, many similarities in values, which I cherish. I loved my experiences in Japan. When I stepped out from the train at Shibuya station on a warm November evening, a wall of new impressions, powerful visual explosion,  met  me.  This  visual  sound  screen  took me by storm and I knew  I would love Tokyo forever!  My first visit was to participate at a design exhibition. Soon thereafter, I came to work and live in this magical city. There are many things to say about Tokyo, as there are about any city, but Tokyo is special, at least for me. I watch and wonder how it is possible, this huge city feels at the same time often like a small town as soon as one ventures off the main streets into the sideways and back streets. It becomes so personal, away from the main shopping centers; it touches you  in  its  simplicity.  The  way  people  “flow”  on  the walkways, never bumping into one another… is like a river. Their gentleness and all the small details that are different from what one is used to, and possibly will never understand. The tiny, tiny dimly lit restaurants with their limited space for food preparation, still able to serve delicious dishes. The lace covers on the taxi drivers seats, the doll like figures, young girls, just standing absolutely still in their imaginative fairy outfits, the incredible neon, the unfamiliar signage, and much, much more. The design brief in an unfamiliar culture can be so different from what one is used to. I was asked to design an umbrella stand, taking 50 umbrellas. I thought they meant five, but soon realized, a stand taking five was a small version and much bigger stands where often used, much needed during rainy season. Such experiences are cherished memories. It’s my birthday soon and I am thinking about making veal and lemon risotto for dinner, for my family and friends.