TRUE VISION: CHRISTINA LILJENBERG HALSTRØM

CHRISTINA LILJENBERG HALSTRØM, DESIGNER

OMQ: At OMQ, we’re interested in what makes fascinating people tick. We think that certain individuals, especially though not exclusively creative people, illustrate their soul and spirit through their work. Do you think this is true of your work and if so, how?

CLH: As a person I am very fond of tidyness allthough I am not very good at actually keeping my surroundings tidy. In my work I have the control to follow this minimalistic path, that focuses on function and aesthetics. I think my work somehow represents my utopian dream of a life I am unable to live in reality.

OMQ: Do you feel there is something bigger than you present in your work and when you are working?

CLH: Actually I feel quite the opposite. My furniture designs are the result of endless hours of sketching, writing, building models and reasoning with myself back and forth which choices to make. When I finish with a piece I know that it is all my doing and all the arguments are in place.

OMQ: There is a fine line between important, educational influences and lack of individuality, veering from the path of internal vision. How do you walk the line?

CLH: My education in Copenhagen was not one of apprenticeship, where you follow a certain master, which can sometimes lead to lack of individuality I guess. In Denmark we are fond of the sentence “Form follows Function” and that was a present part of my education. I think education can be a great source to explore your individuality.
A lot of people talk about intuition as something they just have. Intuition comes from experience. And a good way of obtaining experience in my mind is through education. But under good guiding of course. In my process I write a lot, often using a rhetorical method, Ergasia, which helps me unfold my ideas, making choices and balance the influences I get from other places.

OMQ : How would you explain the notion of artistic integrity?

CLH: The notion of artistic integrity lies in the motive behind a certain piece. For me it is about solving a problem in an aesthetic way.

OMQ : Do you think it’s difficult to remain true to yourself in the face of other’s opinions and advice?

CLH: When I am in the middle of a creative process I can be quite vulnerable, so if I am talking to another designer for example, I have made it a habit to write down what they say and then afterwords go through it and think of what I can use and what is not relevant for that particular project.

OMQ: Do you ever suffer from self-doubt and if so, how do you combat it?

CLH: I think I suffer from self-doubt about fifty times a day; am I making a difference, why is this interesting etc. But this is again where the writing steps in as a useful helper. It helps me to put my thoughts into perspective.

OMQ : What’s your greatest achievement?

CLH: I have worked a lot with furniture at floor height, for example my sofa Beddo, because I find it really interesting that a slight alteration in the way we use furniture can help improve the general state of our bodies; strengthen joints and muscles. Quite a few people have asked how they are supposed to sit in it when they are old and my point is that if you do it your whole life, you can do it when you are old too. Now a very traditional Danish outdoor furniture company is producing Beddo and I find it really great that what started as a very experimental piece of furniture for an exhibition is actually getting out to a broad audience.

CMS: What is your favourite building and why?

CLH: I am crazy about New York and the general architecture there. It is somehow ugly in a most vibrant way. In the middle of all that my favourite building, The New Museum by SANAA architects, is perfectly placed both enhancing itself and the city around it with its pure white boxlike appearance.

http://www.christinaliljenberghalstrom.com

CHRISTINA LILJENBERG HALSTRØM, wearing a dark purple "Roisin"