Peter Nilsson

Peter Nilsson

The story behind Kumulus

When I went to Rome with the Department of Art History at Lund University, I was impressed by the architecture of the eternal city. I loved walking along the small streets and alleys all by myself when, all of a sudden, around a corner a whole new scene would unfold right in front of my eyes. Such a scene could be a square or just a widening in the street. The houses were the background, people posed as actors and in the middle there was almost always an obelisk, a statue, or a fountain as a natural centerpiece.

I have devoted my time to observing how people move about in public spaces in Sweden. As far as today's rigid designs are concerned, I cannot help but think that they have gone a bit too far. The blonde Scandinavian stereo-type has in some cases fallen victim to banality. Minimal environments are not created for people to live in but to look good in pictures.

Public and sometimes even private spaces have become anonymous highways where people walk pressed along the walls. I wanted to set a sign made of glass that would attract people to step into the centre of space and action.

When I later studied design at Växjö University, I was assigned to draw an object whose structure as not based on any geometrical shape. My suggestion was a centrepiece for public and private environments. I intended to create a jumble of glass without clear lines that would sit in the centre of a room like a cloud. It seemed most sensible to use techniques that were based on the more playful American and Italian styles. I chose to make my prototype at a small glass studio in Norway. In the end I decided to put halogen light in it because it creates a beautiful shimmer through the glass pieces.

The design class was later invited to show its creations at the summer exhibition of Svenssons Möbler in Lammhult, in 2000. There I met the people from Bsweden Belysningsbolaget. They were interested in manufacturing and selling Kumulus. That is what I finally namned my little glass cloud after all.