In its 2017 profile of Pia Wallén, French magazine Étapes called the famed designer “a Swedish design icon”. It is difficult to disagree. The word icon is particularly well chosen, given that the very symbols that play an essential role in her works are loaded with cultural-historical significance.
History in general is important to Wallén. She often employs archaic shapes and patterns, and is keenly interested in traditional crafts and materials – which explains her fondness for felted wool, mankind’s oldest textile.
Yet her perspective on history is far from nostalgic. Rather, Wallén’s designs seek to connect traditional materials, crafts and symbols with our time – a prime example being Combo Cross, which she designed for Abstracta. The hanging sound absorber employs felted wool to meet today’s rather acute need for serenity and safeness.