2019 JAN–FEB

Designer Linda Bergroth enjoys the experimental aspects of her work

The  Koti Sleepover  installation in 2017 brought the Finnish cabin experience to the  Institut Finlandais  in Paris. With Koti (Finnish for “home”) Bergroth wanted to highlight the Finnish way of sharing: guests were invited to sleep in wooden cabins and share meals around a communal table. Photo: Kaapo Kamu.

The Koti Sleepover installation in 2017 brought the Finnish cabin experience to the Institut Finlandais in Paris. With Koti (Finnish for “home”) Bergroth wanted to highlight the Finnish way of sharing: guests were invited to sleep in wooden cabins and share meals around a communal table. Photo: Kaapo Kamu.

Multidisciplinary designer Linda Bergroth doesn’t want to limit herself to just one medium. Lately, she has been focusing on experimental, installation-like designs, such as the Koti Sleepover experience in Paris, 2017, and the Zero Waste Bistro realized in collaboration with FCINY for New York’s design week in 2018. Bergroth will spend Jan – Feb 2019 in residency in New York.


Helsinki- and Paris-based designer Linda Bergroth studied furniture design at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and architecture at the École d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais. She moves fluently between different mediums from industrial design and interior architecture to set design. Currently, Bergroth is working on this spring’s main exhibition of Design Museum, Helsinki, that will display work by the COMPANY design studio from the past decade, as well as on a personal project that is still under wraps.

“My designing process starts with identifying the problem, or the question, and then trying to find a solution for it. I’m quite old-fashioned in my techniques. I draw by hand a lot and make miniature models. I ponder the question until I have found what I see as the only possible solution to it”, Bergroth describes. Image: Collector, photo by Osma Harvilahti.

“My designing process starts with identifying the problem, or the question, and then trying to find a solution for it. I’m quite old-fashioned in my techniques. I draw by hand a lot and make miniature models. I ponder the question until I have found what I see as the only possible solution to it”, Bergroth describes. Image: Collector, photo by Osma Harvilahti.

“Each one of the different mediums that I use, feed my creativity in their own, unique way”, Bergroth explains. “My focus points change with time. I like to engage in both shorter projects that allow me to perhaps be a bit more experimental, as well as long-term projects in which I can utilize the insight and new ideas that I’ve gained from the more experimental ones.”

One of these experimental projects was Zero Waste Bistro, an immersive dining experience built for WantedDesign Manhattan during NYCxDESIGN in May 2018 using only next-generation upcycled and recyclable materials. The installation, created in collaboration with designer Harri Koskinen, Helsinki-based restaurant Nolla and FCINY, featured a zero waste tasting menu, daily talks, and workshops, as well as iconic Finnish furniture and tableware. The project focused on themes of circular economy, new material innovations, and sustainable design.

Zero Waste Bistro, WantedDesign Manhattan, NYCxDESIGN 2018. Photo: Nicholas Colcott.

Zero Waste Bistro, WantedDesign Manhattan, NYCxDESIGN 2018. Photo: Nicholas Colcott.

“I wanted to give the theme zero waste a visual representation that would be so inspiring and surprising that it would draw people in and make them curious about the deeper thoughts behind the installation. The exhibition space itself was challenging as it was very narrow, but we ended up working with it and exaggerating the unusual shape to create a room that almost resembles a zero in its shape.”


The bold visual choices worked: Zero Waste Bistro was the most Instagrammed feature of the 2018 NYCxDESIGN, and has been shortlisted for the 2019 Frame Awards in the Sustainability category. This is not the first time Bergroth’s designs have gone viral: in 2011, a photo of her garden shed that doubles as a bedroom at her summer place in Finland, was one of the most shared pictures on Pinterest.

Bergroth designed the  Garden Shed  in collaboration with architect  Ville Harakka  for Finnish brand  Kekkilä  in 2010. She customized the prototype to create a tool shed that also works as a summer bedroom and a small greenhouse. Photo: Arsi Ikäheimonen.

Bergroth designed the Garden Shed in collaboration with architect Ville Harakka for Finnish brand Kekkilä in 2010. She customized the prototype to create a tool shed that also works as a summer bedroom and a small greenhouse. Photo: Arsi Ikäheimonen.

“We live in a time when a single image can be incredibly powerful. The glass building in the picture is located in my summer place on a remote island in Finland. It’s my summer bedroom so it’s a very personal space, yet the picture has the ability to transport the atmosphere and feeling of that place to people who have never been there.”

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