Chilly Stockholm Studio Is a Sunny Social Redoubt [Slideshow]

Stockholm finally has a building to match its piercingly frigid climate: The studio of the design house Form Us With Love, which looks like it could freeze hell. Granted, it would do so in the coolest-looking possible way. (We imagine six-foot blonde bombshells smirking while Thor and Odin share a cigarette.)

Visually beautiful but forbidding at the same time, the place is a monument to white. It’s got white walls, white ceilings, white counters, even white gates. What furniture’s on the floor seems like it was designed to disappear or at least intrude as little possible. The studio has some hints of life, albeit ones so subtle they almost take an anthropologist to detect: a carpet here, dashes of black and gray there. It’s even got a few pops of color: three to be exact.

But outside of that, the office is actually a rather interesting experiment in sociable design. While Form Us With Love specialize in super-minimal product design, they conceived of their new interior as three spaces in one: a studio, an office, and a workshop/ gallery/ social gathering spot for Stockholm’s lively design scene. The latter bit is terribly Swedish of them, and it’s one of the reasons why Scandinavian countries dominate the international design scene. Design isn’t a profession carried out in miserable solitude (as the stereotype goes here in the states); it’s a deeply social endeavor supported by the government and conducted in public.

To that end, the chilly decor makes perfect sense: A space that holds events should be as barren and as easy to re-configure as an art gallery. And if you look closely — at the fabric choices and the texture of the furnishings — the studio actually manages to be pretty inviting. See for yourself.SL