Lina Meier is inspired by ‘the interaction between people and products and driven by a genuine love for design’, and you can tell that by looking at her cool, yet totally usuable pieces. As well as her own studio, she collaborates with graphic designer Sara Keranen-Gramner on Studio Yra. Busy, busy, busy. However, she did have time to talk to Life.Style.etc…
Tell us about your studio. It’s in Dalston, East London, where I am surrounded by Vers Libre letters as well as things that inspire me – books, products, furniture etc. Currently it tends to be a lot of vintage industrial things and typography.
And, is there such a thing as your average working day? No, not really but that’s the beauty of working for yourself.
Who or what inspired you to become a designer? I have always been creative and loved objects and product design, but it was after an operation I had in 2003 that I decided to apply for Central Saint Martins. The inspiration came from working in my previous job, a Swedish company that collaborates with up-and-coming designers from around the world. I learned a lot about the design industry and started my own company just after I graduated in 2007.
How do you get from idea in your head to finished piece? In general it would go from an idea to drawings in my sketchbook – foam/paper prototype to make sure I get the scale right – technical drawings, and then send out for some quotes to get a proper prototype made. What I have always loved about the design industry on this level is that everyone is very helpful and would recommend a good manufacturer (even though they are hard to come by) or give you tips about mistakes that they’ve already made so you can try to avoid them.
What are you most proud of? I really enjoyed having my own gallery exhibition last year. It was at the Design Gallery in Stockholm and the exhibition was called Particles of Poetry. And by combining typography and product design, I created a space where the visitor felt like they are entering a poster. The inspiration for this exhibition was taken from Dadaism and especially the poster Coeur a Barbe, created by Ilya Zdanevich for the Theatre Michel in 1923. It was great to have a space to fill, and nice to be able to be quite conceptual and creative with the designs for this exhibition. Some products turned into the new products I am now launching at Pulse, others were just great one off pieces.
How far ahead does your masterplan stretch? In general, my plan stretches from fair to fair, as I see it as a great way to give myself deadlines for launching new products. The masterplan is on a longer scale and is currently three years ahead.
What do you hope to get out of Pulse this year? I got such fantastic feedback after exhibiting at Pulse last year, launching the Vers Libre collection, and I’m looking forward to meeting the buyers again and to show them the new products.
Other than designing, what makes you happy? Travelling, learning about new cultures and meeting new people.
How would you spend your perfect weekend? I recently came back from a holiday in California and had some lovely weekends out there, but I could stroll along the waterfront in the sunshine anywhere in the world.
Tell us a secret. I am currently looking for a good location in London where Particles of Poetry hopefully will reappear later this year.