Portrait of a Norwegian Designer

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer

Kristine Five Melvær (b. 1984) is an Oslo-based designer working with tableware, lighting, furniture, textile objects and graphic design. She investigates the subject of object communication, bridging the disciplines of product design and graphic design.

The Norwegian designer uses a multidisciplinary approach to take on the global scene. By searching for the sensual essence of phenomena, she translates these qualities into sensuous objects with a Scandinavian simplicity.

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer
Designer Kristine Five Melvær

Melvær has always loved to work on creative projects. Her education was divided into four different degrees. She hold a Master of Architecture, Design and Industrial Form, exchange year at The Royal Danish (2007). She studied graphic design at  Westerdals School of Communications, Oslo (2010) and holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (2008) and a Master’s degree in Visual Communication from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2012).

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer
Bloom lamp, by Kristine Five Melvær. Photo: Erik Five Gunnerud

After she started studying graphic design, she found so many interesting links between the disciplines, so she set up her own studio in 2012, and for the first year and a half she was working full time as a graphic designer at a bigger company.

Related: Award Winning Norwegian Designer

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer
Mikkel blanket, by Kristine Five Melvær.

Melvær was nominated for Young Designer of the Year in Plaza Award 2012 and Nordic Designer of the Year in Nova Design Award 2013. The Soft Bowls were nominated for Accessory of the Year in the Bo Bedre Design Awards 2013. Melvær received the international glass prize Riedel Award for her glass work in 2014, and won Best Textiles in the 2015 ICFF Editors Awards for the Mikkel and Naturpledd blankets for Røros Tweed.

Melvær received a development grant from Grafill in 2013, and a three year working grant from Arts Council Norway in 2014.

Related: Norwegian Designer Makes Traditionally Knitted Reading Lamps

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer
Ray lamp, by Kristine Five Melvær. Photo: Erik Five Gunnerud

Today, Melvær collaborates with a number of European producers. Her Pop collection, for the Swedish outdoor furniture brand Vestre, includes benches, screens and planters. She was the first Scandinavian designer to launch with the Belgian producer When Objects Work, with the product series Soft Bowls, Soft Vases, and Soap Dishes and she is one of the biggest contributors of new designs to the Norwegian glass manufacturer Magnor Glassverk. She also designs textiles for the Norwegian company Røros Tweed.

Related: Be Seated the Norwegian Way

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer
“Color is one of the most inspiring parts of the process,” says Melvær

“In Oslo, you have different kinds of nature around you: the forest, the sea and the mountains, all within a short distance. It’s very inspiring, but I interpret it in a subtle way. I think it’s important that you can read multiple connotations into it, and then it can communicate to different people with different backgrounds. It won’t be like telling the same joke every day. It will change a bit with you. Then you can give it to someone else, who can interpret it in their own way,” says Kristine Five Melvær. “Color is one of the most inspiring parts of the process,” she adds.

Melvær has exhibited her work in cities like Milan, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Tokyo, Paris, London, Prague, Zagreb, Berlin, Kortrijk, Stockholm, Lillestrøm, Stavanger and Oslo. One of her Ray prototypes was acquired by the VitraHaus exhibition in 2012.

Portrait of a Norwegian Designer, written by Tor Kjolberg

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.