Tollgard Design Group

Designer in Profile: Staffan Tollgard, Tollgard Design Group

Tollgard Design Group have been shortlisted for Interior Design Scheme – Global Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020. Read more about Founder & Creative Director, Staffan Tollgård, below:

Name: Staffan TollgårdTollgard Design Group

Company: Tollgard Design Group

Position within company: Founder & Creative Director


Tell us a little about your background in design:
I transitioned from a career in film-making to design during a tumultuous year in 2003 by enrolling in a post graduate degree at the Inchbald School of Design. I never looked back, and credit Alan Hughes and Inchbald for awakening my love for design, as well as my wife for enrolling me in the first place. I worked briefly for Rabih Hage, a brilliant designer, before setting up on my own. I have been fortunate to have had fantastic clients and have managed to grow the studio and to start three showrooms and bring my idea of design to a larger audience.

How would you describe your personal style?
I draw on my heritage from Scandinavia with a mid-century functionalism and mix it with a Japanese aesthetic. More recently I have been drawn to designer-makers from the US and the beautiful ‘craftsman modern’ vibe and industrial craft of the last few years.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I draw inspiration from everything I see whilst travelling but my biggest inspiration is from Scandinavia and Japan and how the two mix with so much harmony and minimal beauty.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving in a general sense?
We were on a crash trajectory, similar to fashion, towards a throw-away culture within design. I feel increasingly, however, that we are refocusing on craftmanship and sustainability and longer-lasting design decisions.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Provenance & authenticity
  2. Craftsmanship
  3. Sustainability
  4. Individuality
  5. Well-being

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Consider function before aesthetics.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
The awards are extremely important, perhaps even more so now than ever before.  With a fractured community, celebrating design and awarding excellence ensures its progression and appeal.

What projects are you currently working on?
Our projects range from commercial to residential, from extremely local to far-flung.  A family villa in Kuwait and a listed apartment in Copenhagen are also at the further ends of the design spectrum: one is cutting edge contemporary, the other a sensitive modernisation of a historic building in one of the most beautiful parts of the royal city.  In London we are working on two listed buildings, a magnificent North London home and a 28th floor apartment in one of the city’s most exciting modernist-inspired towers. The finishing touches are being applied to an awesome office scheme in the new Brunel Building, as well as a few other residential projects.

What are your aims and goals for the next 12 months?
To design and launch more products. To stay focused and attentive in an uncertain world. To stay humble and grateful for the wonderful work we get to do.

Final thoughts:

Your most treasured possession?
Reflection, a lithograph print by artist Tim Eitel.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Skiing, pretty much anywhere, but preferably heliskiing in British Columbia.

Your favourite Hotel, restaurant and bar?
Aman Puri Hotel in Thailand
Estaminé – Ilha Deserta in Portugal
Pantechnicon in London.

Your Favourite Book, film and song?
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Into the Wild by Sean Penn
Life on Mars by David Bowie

Your Favourite Food and drink?
Japanese sake

Your Favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Bike ride with the family or pottering in the garden

Anything else interesting?
After leaving school I was conscripted into the Swedish Army and once stood guard at the Princess’ Wing in the Royal Palace on Lovö, an island in the archipelago. My kids love when I tell that story as we drive past the Palace on our way to visit my parents in Stockholm.

Tollgard Design Group have been shortlisted for Interior Design Scheme – Global Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020.

design et al only work with the world’s leading designers.

If you think you have what it takes to complete in The International Design & Architecture Awards, submit your application by clicking here.

How to Apply The Categories