With a broad education ranging from the Beckmans College of Design, an internship at IKEA, to his MA at the Royal College of Art in London, Fredrik is truly interdisciplinary, and wants design to reflect our contemporary world, and doesn’t want to draw any boundaries to other cultural expressions like art, fashion, and music.
It certainly helps being a carpenter working with wood, but Fredrik Paulsen is not content merely to master the material, he loves to experiment and challenge the very conceptions of design.
You could almost call his work an anti-design, that Italian radical design which questioned the very ethos of a Modernist restrained functional simplicity with unique colourful and decorative pieces. No wonder he is inspired by masters like Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, and Gae Aulenti.
But if Fredrik is both an artist and a designer at heart, he wants to express a thorough logic in how his pieces are put together. ”I work fast and intuitively, and I do try to trust my gut feeling,” says Fredrik, ”I’m genuinely interested in the practical function of a design, but I am as intrigued by design as a communication device and a cultural interface.”
Are you a designer or an artist?
" I work a lot in a gallery context, which is why many call me an artist. But I have a degree as a designer, and I’m really a furniture guy. I’m hooked on material which doesn’t have a high status, and many of my pieces are unique, but all part of a process which is continuously developed. And regardless if the final product is a chair, a party, or an exhibition, I’m totally into it. It’s what I love, and it’s what I do, because it allows me to have fun. I do think it’s time to broaden our view on how you can work as a designer! "
What are you reading and listening to?
"I just finished Caroline Ringskog Ferrada-Noli’s Rich Boy, amazing language, impossible to stop reading. Musicwise I’m into Suicide, GG Allin, Spokes H, and Robyn right now, do check out the British radiostations Rins.fm and NTS Radio."