Kim Thomé, a Norwegian-born industrial designer (who, incidentally, grew up in Singapore) tells us what inspires him to come up with his light-capturing colourful designer.
Tell us more about how you came up with the Plinth candleholders for Atelier Swarovski Home.
I first worked with Swarovski for a project at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (on a 18-metre status “Zotem”, embedded with 600 crystals), which was a big structure for the London Design Festival in 2015. It was from then that the crystal house approached me to be involved with the all-new Atelier Swarovski Home collection.
They asked me to put together some ideas for a table range, and we ended doing a series of candleholders. It was very different from the last project, which was a large-scale installation. So it was interesting to see what we could work on together to create a product that is mass-produced and perceived in a different way.
The form of the plinth is elegant, and on a table it raises the crystal to eye line level, which is very lovely because the focus is then shifted to the crystal. For this collection, I wanted to put an emphasis on using the colour to create patterns. We used the pairing of natural metal with colourful crystal: a dulled material like aluminium, which is cut quite matte and then to make the crystal “pop” we use a colour that suited it.
How would you describe your work?
I like to work with colour but only if it’s necessary, and patterns fascinate me too. I don’t think too hard about my own design aesthetic but hopefully it’s something that evolve as the projects grow and it becomes more apparent.
Were you a creative kid?
I was always curious about how things worked and were put together from a young age. I wasn’t particularly academic at school so was drawn towards more creative subjects. Design seemed a natural path to follow.
What do you get inspired by?
I’m not so much inspired by furniture design itself but I take a lot of inspiration from art and graphics. Looking too closely at other designs doesn’t generate better ideas for me.
What’s your favourite piece of fashion, furniture or homeware?
I really like my long shoehorn. I use it everyday to put on my shoes. I’m very tall so it saves me from getting backache.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I have some potentially exciting projects in the pipeline but in this industry it’s a lot of work and organising to get a project off the ground.
There is an opportunity to work with a ceramic company which could be really interesting collaboration. I’m also designing a chair for a Portuguese client which is focused on using traditional local crafts for manufacture.
What’s your favourite thing about living in London?
London has a lot of other designers that keep you on top of your game. There are always exhibitions going on – you are always culturally inspired. And there are a lot of opportunities that can inform your practice.
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Hopefully I will still me working for myself doing interesting projects and larger commissions.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the September 2016 issue of SquareRooms.
Image credits: Atelier Swarovski Home