Åsa Gessle about her interest for design

Rep: Åsa, congratulations, welcome to the studio.


Åsa: Thank you.


 Rep: Do you like to do bag designs?


Åsa: Yes, I like that, first of all to watch them, you don’t need to buy all of them.


Rep: Nooo...


Åsa: You can watch, it is funny...


Rep: Yes, exactly. But...decorations, as this is our subject here, this evening, they have a place in your heart. You are designer...


Åsa: Yes, they say so. I call myself environment creator, I like to create environment, this is what I do.


Rep: How do you do that?


Åsa: Many years ago I started to rearrange the shop-windows in the little Trelleborg, where I come from, it was a shop with clothes and I used to expose, then I continued with making shop-window catalogues, then I started to draw houses, at the beginning of the 90s, just draw houses and I came in the field of architecture and design, how much I could do. Then we got to buy a hotel and when we got 20 000 sqm to work with, I started to work there. In this way I continued my activity.


Rep: So the hotel has grown up.


Åsa: Yes, it has, in many years time.


Rep: Can you say something that is good, in general, with decorations? What you think...


Åsa: It depends also what a person thinks, for me it is something functional and practical and then it shouldn’t be too many things, it should be personal, I think this is very important. It is not only the designer who should recommend this chair or that table, you should also take into account what the other person feels in his soul. You must feel like home in the project. You must go and sit down there and feel good. You shouldn’t feel that you sit on something where you cannot move.


Rep: Now you are ready with the renovation of the apartment here in Stockholm. Are you satisfied with the result?


Åsa: A lot. It is fantastic. We just have a bit to do and it feels great to see that the final project is exactly how it has been drawn before.


Rep: How much did you have to do with this? As you didn’t stay to polish the floor or so...


Åsa: No. I was there since we started to draw, then to talk with specialists then to build. And this took a few years. But I am there every day and watch.


Rep: What style do you have in the apartment? Is it anything special?


Åsa: Well, this is an old apartment, with high ceiling and sculptures. It was very important to keep the sculptures and the theme of the apartment and to put this in evidence and also to mix with a little bit new. And some wood. And I like to build a lot, so it has been built a lot inside, so that you don’t need to buy a lot of furniture. And also to mix with the old furniture that we had before with the new one. And it works very well, I can notice now. So it is old and new, I can say.


Rep: You are also a designer for lamps. Do you have a lot of your lamps in the apartment?


Åsa: I remember some window lamps, yes, I remember them. The ceiling is too high for the other ceiling lamps.


Rep: But the apartment is located in a very nice surrounding, so there must be some rules of what you are allowed to do and what not.


Åsa: Yes, there are. We didn’t do something that is not permitted. And the apartment is not built in the traditional Östermalm way, I have concrete walls, also in the kitchen. It is a stainless kitchen. And perhaps this is not so common.


Rep: What do the neighbours think about that?

 

Åsa: They think it is very nice. One came there today.


Rep: How nice! Do you think to buy also some old things?

 


Åsa: Oh, yes, everything that has to do with soul. I am a person who doesn’t buy design just to be design. I want to buy things that I feel comfortable with. If there is a good shop, it is not important just to like the things.


Rep: But you and your husband, Per and your son, Gabriel... you also have a house in Halmstad. And also this apartment in Stockholm. What means “at home” for you?


Åsa: “At home”, for my heart, means Skåne. To the South, Malmö... There I am at home, in my heart. But if I have to choose between the 2 places where we live, then Halmstad is closest to the nature, where we have built a life with hotel and house and... a garden, when you have grown up without a garden, now there is a house where you can go out into the garden in the summertime, I think it is fantastic. As I have said, this is in my heart, but Stockholm is wonderful, it is a fantastic city, you enjoy a lot to be here. But, as I have said...


Rep: You, who are married to one of Sweden’s richest artist, Per Gessle, I didn’t see you too much with him. You have chosen to be like that?


Åsa: Well, it is enough with one from the family who can be seen... (laughs) I think it is nice to do your things, too, I do my things, not only to be wife, but I also have my own life, it is very important for me that I am Åsa. And I don’t need to go out and expose myself with that. Now I have started to go out with lamps and design. But I am behind him, he sees the outside, I see the inside. That’s enough.


Rep: But what does Per say now? Does he support you?


Åsa: He is very glad, very happy, he supports me. If I have supported him in everything he has done, he can do the same now.


Rep: Now it is his turn.


Åsa: Yes.


Rep: But I am thinking about when we met few years ago, when we published a book at the same time and I saw that you and Per had a fantastic tight relation, so when I saw how much love exists between you and you had been married for many many years ... so I would like to hear how could you keep so much warmth and love between you. Because you really shine!


Åsa: Thanks, thanks, thanks. Well, we have worked together and we had a lot of time for each other.


Rep: What does it mean?


Åsa: Well, we can for example go by boat 2 or 3 days and have fun and discover things that we like. Then it is easy to be married to Per, he is a very humoristic person who makes you happy all the time. Or most of the people, anyway.


Rep: One last question: Per’s song “Tycker om när du tar på mig” – does it speak about you?


Åsa: He says that it reflects his love for me, yes.


Rep: How cute!


Åsa: Yes, it is cute.


Rep: Thank you very much for coming here and good luck!


Åsa: Thank you! 

 

Source: TV4 - watch the interview in Swedish HERE