Kasper Salto isn’t your typical furniture designer—this young professional started his career as a cabinetmaker under Jørgen Wolff. Taking this unique background with him through the Danish Design School and Art Center in Switzerland, Salto’s designs blend Danish tradition with a balanced mix of industrial design, drawing upon international influences, as well as nature, to create colorful and functional aesthetics. Salto has already garnered several awards including Danish Knud V. Engelhardt's Memorial Award 2005 and Denmark's prestigious Furniture, as well as launched several top-selling series for Fritz Hansen, including the recent NAP™ introduction (shown below right).
1. As a young designer who has already made his mark with multiple successful products for Fritz Hansen, including the Ice™ Series, Little Friend™ and NAP™, what do you feel has been your greatest success to date?
It must be the Fritz Hansen ICE™ series. (It made my living the last 7 years!) But I really believe that the NAP™ chair will make a great success for me and for Fritz Hansen in the future.
2. When you design a product—whether it’s a chair, or table or otherwise—what is your main concern? Aesthetics? Functionality? Innovation?
I want to make relevant products for as many people as possible. Function is a must; innovation is something to strive for; and aesthetics is up to the viewer.
3. You originally received your training as a cabinetmaker. How do you feel this non-traditional start helped and/or hindered your development as a designer?
Many years ago it was common here in Denmark to be a craftsman before studying design or architecture. Today it's rare that people have that kind of background. Testing ideas and making prototypes is a crucial part in product development, so I can only say that in my career it has been a big help. Also this lends benefit when you want to convince a company that the project is good.
4. Why is design important to you? How do you feel it contributes to the world as a whole?
Design is a tool to improve the things surrounding us. Design is to take something and make it better.
5. If you had to describe your design style in five words or less, what would those words be?
I have no style, and I try to not to. Style should not play the leading role in design.6. Who has been the greatest influence in your life, in terms of inspiring your design?
I like the thinking of Charles and Ray Eames. They were the ones with a human approach to design, focusing on human beings.
7. Did you always want to be a designer? How did you grow to this profession?
I always liked to create things with my hands. While studying cabinetmaking, I had a dream of being a designer.
8. Any future projects in the works that you can share with us?
I have made, with my partner Thomas Sigsgaard, a wall lamp with LED technology. It’s only made as a prototype so far, but we are looking for interesting manufacturers to work with. The name of the lamp is Yellow Fin. See more at wwwsaltosigsgaard.com
9. What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Making more relevant projects with my partner Thomas Sigsgaard.