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Little words with Fredrik Torsteinsen


Toys Little Words Torsteinsen

The Torsteinsen Design team consists of husband and wife Fredrik and Solveig Torsteinsen, plus Vidar Øverby.

Toys Little Words Torsteinsen

As well as over 20 years of design experience between them, the trio have backgrounds working in furniture making, carpentry and textiles. Their products, created with an eye for aesthetics and a utilitarian outlook, typify the blend of organic form and human function of the Scandinavian design tradition. Over the years, Torsteinsen Design has exhibited extensively abroad, served as board and jury members for various Norwegian design institutions and worked with a wide range of furniture manufacturers, earning numerous awards – including eight for design excellence from the Norwegian Design Council. Do you remember a special gift you received when you were a child? A silver candlestick that my grandmother gave me for Christmas. She didn’t have a lot of money and the gift didn’t mean that much to me at the time, but now, years after her death, I light it every day.

Toys Little Words Torsteinsen

What’s the most beautiful holiday you had when you were a child? My most magical childhood holidays were spent at my grandparent’s small farm in the Lofoten Islands north of the Arctic Circle. All of my cousins, aunts, and uncles gathered to help with the summer hay and to fish enough to fill the freezer. It was all about family, learning, the mountains, the endless ocean, and the midnight sun. What was your favorite toy? My fishing rod was probably my favorite “toy”. Were you good at school? No, but I was good in gym, woodworking and art. Were you neat or messy? Messy. Were you lively or thoughtful? Lively and active! What did you use to draw? Fish! What did you want to become in the future? I think I wanted to become a carpenter like a lot of my forefathers. What was your favorite item of clothing, the one you always wanted to wear? When I grew up, all the kids wore corduroy pants, turtlenecks and hand-knit traditional sweaters. I don’t remember there being any options. Did you prefer cowboys or Indians? Cowboys, because I used my grandfather’s old Borsalino with a string under my chin as a cowboy hat. Which was the worst prank you played or suffered? I was a pretty nice kid; the worst prank I played was putting live firecrackers in the neighbors’ mailboxes.

Toys Little Words Torsteinsen

What was your recurring whim? I was always outside, exploring, building, experimenting… How did you first graze your knee? My knee was pretty much grazed all the time, so remembering the first time is hard. What was the food you used to hate most? I didn’t like salted saithe fish with cooked potatoes, but we ate it every Monday anyway. What’s the first lie you told? I lied about having done my homework. Do you remember a dirty word you used to say? I didn’t use dirty words, but my mother used to hate it when I used a dialect that wasn’t “proper enough”. If you could go back in time when you were a child, what “modern” game would you like to have fun with? Geocashing with GPS would be fun to take back to a childhood that was largely spent running around in the woods. What‘s the game you play (would like to play) with your son? My son is 17 and bigger than me! When we “play”, we bike long and hard. I think he is the one playing with me! What movie or cartoon would you like to see (have seen) with your son? I watch extreme ski films with my son, or just fun action movies with fast cars.

Toys Little Words Torsteinsen

Which book did you give him (would you like to give to him)? My son is a genius in the kitchen. For him, a cookbook is the ultimate literature. Which item would you like to leave to your child? I would like to leave him something that he would be proud to pass on to his children, something I have made myself maybe, or something that has already been passed on to me from my father. Something that gives him a sense of identity and history. In your opinion, what’s missing today in the world of children? The curiosity to discover the real and natural world and the time to do it. Get out in nature, run around, fall down, come home tired, hungry and happy! Do you have a project for the little ones in mind or have you already carried out one for them? My youngest daughter always has lots of projects of her own. When it comes to my own projects for children, I have designed several products but find getting them into production challenging since products for children (as elsewhere in society) are first of all about cost and secondly about value.

Toys Little Words Torsteinsen

Concept by Margherita Pincioni, Words by Elviro Di Meo

Photos by Morten Brun

www.torsteinsen.no


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