Driv Design: Delivering design concepts from A to Å
By Lise Lærdal Bryn | Photos: Driv Design
Driv Design delivers the full package of a tailor-made interior design concept, from conceptual brainstorming to the final flourishes, using high-quality, locally-sourced furnishing. The keywords? Functionality, approachability and exceptional design.
17 years ago, Åse Fet and Karl Magnus Eriksen moved out of the city with a dream. The relocation from Oslo to Sykkylven, a fjord-side village where the primary industry is furniture manufacturing, marked the birth of Driv Design: a design studio that specialises in individualised design and full-scale furnishing for independent boutiques. From this small-town base, they collaborate with businesses all over Norway, from Kristiansand to Tromsø, developing a design concept that suits the client’s needs, and implementing the interior concept from start to finish.
“We appreciate the contrasts, but definitely need an urban counterweight,” Fet notes when asked whether their natural surroundings are a source of inspiration. This is evident in the designs, which combine clean, Scandinavian lines and robust materials with a glossiness found in the high-end boutiques of London and New York. “As long as you live close to an airport, the whole world is easily accessible.”
But that doesn’t mean that their location isn’t central to their work. “We’re very focused on using local, Norwegian producers,” says Eriksen. This ensures sustainability, along with their focus on functionality and furnishings that last. A client once told them they produce “approachable design” – design that truly works – and this is something Fet says distinguishes Driv Design.
The company’s small size, focus on local production and practical design solutions have resulted in enduring partnerships with clients and suppliers, whom they work with intensively for several months. Many of these clients hire Driv Design over and over again, whether to refresh a shop they fitted 15 years ago or design new locations.
One partner they’ve worked with from the very beginning is the fashion house Retro. They are especially proud of the most recent of Retro’s Trondheim locations, a three-storey clothing store that opened in 2020 – their biggest project to date. Fet remarks that, although it was demanding, it was “incredibly exciting work in an inspiring building”.
Another notable client is furniture company Ekornes, with whom they have developed the flexible ‘Stressless Studio’. This design solution is one that has taken off internationally, with a roll-out of 4,000 new studios – the fruits of a long design process flown out across the globe.
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