Pholc in person

8 Sep, 2020

Staffan Sundström

When a design leaves us and enters someone’s life that it takes on its own personality and becomes more than just a light. It becomes special and loved.

IN PERSON is our chance to peek into the real world of some of our extended family; that is regular people who like our lighting enough to bring it into their home. We start the journey in Copenhagen with Staffan Sundström.

pholc to staffan

“For me, Pholc really manifests itself as an honest, small family owned design business. It still manages to behave as a brand that’s aware without being pretentious. I’m also a big fan of the way Pholc embraces bold colour and form into its designs.”

A man with his own mix

Staffan, tell us about you. “I’m a 30-year-old art director who shoots a lot of photos. I come from a suburb of Helsinki but partly grew up in Copenhagen.”

Today Staffan’s home is Copenhagen, where he works at the acclaimed Kinfolk collective but, as he himself admits, the world of design and culture is something he “tumbled into” after dropping out of art school.

“I dropped out of the fine art photography course pretty quickly due to restlessness. The decision brought me into agency life at a very young age. While it’s something I’ve later come to regret (not the job itself), it pretty much taught me everything I know, on a technical level. But I’ve come to find out lately that the thought-process and toolset you develop through academia is hard to replace with commercial productivity.”

The Nordic blend

Sundström’s style and composition are recognisable; with a slight creaminess of the light, unexpected angles and a talent for bringing shadow artistically into a composition. “I’d say my core approach has always been to keep things as flexible as possible. I rarely tend to be locked into a tripod trying to work out an angle for half a day, I’d rather try and find new interesting compositions as I go along. This I find can bring a whole lot more depth to shooting ‘inanimate’ objects.”

When not ‘on the clock’ Staffan retreats easily into his own pace, never guilted into sending emails from his phone when not in the office. It’s his own time to enjoy with family and friends; shopping for a bottle of natural wine at Volitil on Sønder Boulevard or walking the parks of the Danish capital. In his home you’ll find a curated fusion of pieces that tie together Nordic attributes; “A Danish sense of colour, Finnish forms and a Swedish pragmatic minimalism,” he notes.

His last three investments as far as design goes were all thrifty finds from stores that you’d not associate with design in the slightest. “I recently walked into my favourite vintage bookstore and was like, ‘Hey, can you sell me this table?’ I guess that’s why I’ve always loved Copenhagen, it’s a really open city.”

For some time, Staffan has been living with a number of Pholc pieces which blend quite effortlessly with his own interior stylings, flowing between the vintage finds and contemporary art pieces in his apartment.