From the Highlands of Scotland to the headland of the Swedish capital, designer Nick Ross works from his studio in Stockholm where he considers how historical events and interpretations alter our present-day perceptions of objects. Here, he shares his thoughts on his work and the desire to bridge the gap between the past and the present, as well as what great design means to him.
When did you become interested in design?
I’ve been interested in the act of creation since I was a child, but design is really something I fell into. I wanted to be an architect at first, but felt it was too dry for me.
Which aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles and philosophy?
My grandfather collected Danish mid-century furniture and was a big history buff. Looking back, I learned a lot from him. Describe your personal interior style. Eclectic minimalism or refined chaos.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I still struggle to put this into words, but over time you do gather a collection of forms and references that you are fascinated by and can go back to for inspiration. You begin to notice how certain ideas from projects and collections evolve and transform into new ideas, shapes and expressions.
Who or what has been most influential to your work?
I think in general I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve met some really great people who have helped me along the way.
Are there other creative fields that inform your work?
Right now, I’m really into dystopian science fiction. But I would say film in general.
What does your work address?
I like to think my work speaks to our need for meaning in the objects around us. I think that storytelling is such an important human trait, and adding this into objects can give them added value in some way. If I’m honest, I think that objects that exist for purely functional reasons are rather banal.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
An archaic expression in a contemporary context.
What is the most challenging aspect of your practice?
Never being able to leave work at work. My mind is constantly processing ideas.
And what is the most satisfying?
When an idea finally works out.
What is great design?
How do you want your design legacy to read?
Integrity is very important to me. I like to stay away from easy options or something that exists purely for monetary reasons.
What are your favourite objects that you did not design?
Anything by Scott Burton. He had such an amazing sense of form, scale and materiality.
What is the best piece of design advice you have been given?
It’s all about context.
What are your ambitions for the future?
To keep moving forward.