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NM& - En Ny Samling, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, 2018

Between 2015 and 2018 Matti Klenell, TAF Studio, Carina Seth Andersson and Stina Löfgren worked together to create the new 300 seat restaurant and café at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden that has now reopened after being closed due to a five year renovation. The concept for the interior is to highlight the process of making and to celebrate the unfinished and uncertain in a house already filled with artistic masterpieces. To achieve this mission the constellation has travelled together to investigate and collaborate with various manufacturers in Sweden and its Nordic neighbors. The result is a reflecting and playful interior environment furnished with entirely new objects that not only shape and serve the space but also forms an absolute contemporary collection of 82 pieces in which 32 designers and 21 manufacturers have been involved. The collection has been named NM& - En Ny Samling (A New Collection).

”The assignment to design the restaurant and café at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm came almost immediately to be about the concept of place and origin. Perhaps quite natural as it is built into the institution’s name and also in one of its missions to monitor and collect design and applied arts from Sweden and the Nordic region. For a designer, the importance of place is also often present as requirement, inspiration, starting point or goal. In an increasingly uniform world the unique and local is given more and more importance and it is the soul of a manufacturing location that often gives a project its distinctive character and defined recognition. Even though wood is being processed everywhere on our planet, it is done slightly different depending on where. Same thing with ceramics, metal- or glass making which, depending on place and traditions has developed in different directions with different qualities that helps revealing the origin of an object that goes beyond storytelling. At the same time there is a cross-exchange of experiences where we travel more than ever and work in new cultures and contexts. A designer 2018 is a bearer of tradition but today also a traveling creator of renewal when influences from different places meet, unite and transform within the design process.”

On October 13, 2018, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm opened after extensive renovation and rebuilding. The construction project has been a unique opportunity for the museum to develop new exhibition concepts and settings. In line with the museum’s public mission and vision to make art and design accessible as broadly as possible, the restaurant’s new interior design took the form of an artistic project. The goal was to give a collective of designers the opportunity to work together, explore materials and methods, discover old and new producers, and ultimately provide visitors with insights into the design process – creating a new inspiring space for public use. The new restaurant and café at the Nationalmuseum is located in three impressive ground floor galleries previously closed to the public but now reopened to visitors. The ambition is that the 550 m2 premises will become an inviting space for the visitors and a constant changing living room. The task of designing the concept of the restaurant space was commissioned to Matti Klenell, who chose TAF Studio, Carina Seth Andersson and Stina Löfgren as his close partners and collaborators in this project. The constellation has worked together before in the bespoken A New Layer project. When the concept was set, it was also part of the Nationalmuseum’s
assignment to expand the team and invite additional designers to participate in executing specific tasks.

”The collective journeys in Taiwan with our shared experiences contributed to the emergence of a collection of objects that, despite our different work expressions, became remarkably coherent.
We therefore chose to use the same method when the concept of this new project was to be formulated for the Nationalmuseum but now touring the roads at home in our own region. Instead of traveling away to explore something new, we together went home to our own backyards. We traveled in landscapes familiar from our own upbringing where the power of vanity sometimes can create a veil for all that is to be seen. It is for sure much more difficult to work with your own legacy than to interpret someone else’s. But also this time around we helped each other to register, reflect and document in a way that gave new light to something we thought we had already finished studying. Just like in Taiwan, we found a color scale, a material palette, flavors, behaviors and traditions.”