WORLD: MY PORTFOLIO - Thomas Sandell

Thomas Sandell is one of the architecture and design world's most famous names. The 44-year-old Swede started with a few major works in Stockholm at the end of the 80s: restaurants and cafes became the hottest places in the city for a night out. In the early 90s, when Swedish design made its comeback, he started to bolster his international reputation.

Sandell continues to design furniture for elite Italian manufacturers such as B&B Italia and Capellini, as well as Ikea.

Alongside his design assignments, he co-runs Sandell Sandberg, a company created in 1995 together with the art director Ulf Sandberg. Both partners, assisted by 40 staff, help their clients to develop a different kind of communication strategy based on the combination of all three fields: architecture, design and advertising.

"The idea behind our company is to think about architecture and design as a marketing tool," he says.

" I am convinced that a building communicates a message to the market as much as a print campaign does. For instance, we recently won a competition for a hotel in Stockholm with our design, Annarella; we also designed an outdoor restaurant in Malmo.

"I have also contributed to a new development in the Roppongi Hills area in Tokyo. It's a whole new residential, office and commercial district in the city, entirely created by 11 international designers. I designed the Tokyo bench for the complex.

"The most exciting moment in my career was when Capellini asked me to design furniture. I thought 'wow, I'm out there', like Philippe Starck.

"We also work a lot with Carlsberg on everything from a new bottle design to an advertising campaign. I also frequently work with agencies such as Lowe Brindfors and McCann-Erickson and I have designed offices for them.

"As soon as you enter the design world, you're brought to work internationally.

We work a lot with Italian companies and we have a lot of projects underway in Tokyo, Moscow, London and Stockholm. At the moment my biggest project is the new Stockholm Stock Exchange which will be inaugurated next January."

- Thomas Sandell was talking to Caroline Carlsson.


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