Bjørn van den Berg

When did you get interested in design?
As a child, I drew a lot and collected many things. I’ve been connected to objects. I even wanted to be a car designer as a child, so I always drew cars. It wasn’t the right thing for me though, so when I saw the design school in the newspaper, I realized that it was design that I love.

What have been your favorite classes?
I think the best classes were the ones where we had a lighting project. My school is all about making many prototypes, so we worked on making models that are similar to the finished product. Mine was a lamp project.

What is unique about design in Oslo?
Oslo has a new era in architecture. Last year, many new buildings were built, like the opera which opened in 2008, Holmekollen Ski jump, and the Barcode Project, some of which is still in project. Before that, Oslo was not an interesting architectural city to visit. If I had to guess, in a few years, many tourists will go to Norway to see the buildings.

Let’s talk about your work: what makes “Attach” special?|
I wanted to make a clip lamp to fulfill the brief. Essentially, I wanted to recreate the enjoyment of clipping. I studied different clipping principles and tried to force them into a strict shape and make a story of it. Also, you can’t overlook the practical aspect of the clipping. I chose a smooth navy because even though it is a prototype, it should be eye-catching.

I’m curious about “Circus.” What was the inspiration behind this piece?
That project was out of my love for the idea of a hidden color range behind a lid. It was the idea of color perception. It’s about the excitement of opening the fan of colors in a gray office place.

What’s your favorite color combination?
It depends.  The color sectioning is inspired by circus tents, which explains its title. I picked the colors based on nature. The pink and green are respectively “Leaf” and “Flower.” The orange and blue range are “Evening” and “Night.” The one in purple and gray are “Snow” and “Ice.”  I really wanted playful titles to accompany the colors.

What material do you enjoy working with?
Oftentimes, I think of an idea and concept first. I think about the emotion I want to create. The materials comes after that. I like various materials but right now I have been working mostly with metals. I prefer tactile materials for their surface.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you like to dine with?
In art, I’d say Olafur Eliasson.

What’s your favorite sport?
I enjoy playing soccer. I’ve been doing that for many years and try to play in the parks for fun now.

Do you follow any teams?
Arsenal and the Dutch National Team.

What about your least favorite sport?
I never liked volleyball, at least not indoor.

What’s your favorite beer?
It depends on my mood. In the summer it’s Birra Moretti. Another good one is Indian Pale Ale.

What’s your favorite movie?
I don’t watch many movies, but I’d have to say Fight Club.

In your own words, what is beauty?
Beauty depends on the context but must always be authentic.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I like to dance.

Who were the artists and creative individuals you dream of collaborating with?
I would like to work with creative disciplines that create good sensory experiences in future projects, such as food or music. Chef René Redzepi is one that I admire, and it would be super exciting to take part of a project with him. Otherwise it could be interesting to work with staging or props, perhaps with electronica artists like Röyksopp or Lemaitre. Since they have a music that suits visual creations, I think my design approach may help create an interesting collaboration.

If you weren’t pursuing design, what alternative occupation might you explore?
A chef. I really enjoy cooking. It’s like therapy and it makes me happy.

What books are your favorite? What books continue to collect dust on your book shelf?
I like the books of Norwegian writer Erlend Loe, specifically L and Doppler. They’re both fun and interesting. Unfortunately I don’t read that many books, so most of my books are gathering dust., except my cookbooks. I hope that my desire to read books becomes stronger after I graduate.

What websites do you check daily?
AftenpostenDezeen, Minimalissimo, Jollygooand a few other websites.

And lastly, describe your ideal food day.
Breakfast in my apartment a quiet morning with good coffee, fresh juice, freshly made rolls and a newspaper. Lunch with self-caught fish and shellfish prepared simply outside somewhere along the Norwegian coast. Dinner at a French bistro with interesting dishes I haven´t tasted before and lots of good wine. Main ingredient: great company.


For more of Bjørn’s work, check out his website.