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  • Catalogue Essay

    Studiomama is based in London and owned by the designer Nina Tolstrup. She trained as a designer at the prestigious Les Ateliers school of industrial design in Paris and has a BA in Marketing from the Business School in Copenhagen.Tolstrup designs products for companies while also taking a pro-active approach to designing, manufacturing and selling her own ranges under the Studiomama name.
    Nina Tolstrop’s Pallet Project is all about the social changes needed now: self-sufficiency, reusability, accessibility, utility and metamorphosis. The project takes the cheap wasted wood of pallets and transforms it – through the alchemy of very simple instructions – into functional furniture. The Pallet Project began in 2006 as part of TEN, a dialogue between ten London based designers focusing on sustainability.
    It started with a Low Pallet chair, a High Pallet chair, a stool and a floor lamp. Following the interest generated by the furniture in the exhibition, Nina Tolstrup made the design instructions available on her website, launching the project onto the global market while still maintaining locally sourced materials. Immediate, democratic, and a swift translation from idea to distribution. Since then Tolstrup’s DIY pallet chairs have popped up all over the world. The Pallet Project captured the imagination of Cecilia Glik, a photographer and gallery owner in Argentina. Glik runs a charity, ‘Amistad o Nada’, in the slums of Lugano’s District 21 in Buenos Aires, a non-profit artistic/social charity that seeks to offer dignified work to those who are vulnerable. In collaboration with Tolstrup, ‘Amistad o Nada’ makes and sells pallet chairs, using the profits to expand the workshops and engage more unemployed people from the slums, giving them both a source of income and hope for the future.Three leading London artists - Gavin Turk, Cornelia Parker and Rachel Whiteread – have generously supported the charity by customizing particular pallet chairs, and in so doing raising a substantial amount of money on behalf of Amistad o Nada. This model has been followed in Colombia, the Philippines and England to raise money to support local communities.

    In parallel, the Pallet Project has been acclaimed internationally in leading exhibitions, galleries and museums. It was also the project that lead to Nina Tolstrup’s nomination as designer of the year by the Design the Design Museum in London.Following the pallet theme, Bloomberg commissioned a project ‘Waste Not, Want It’, whereby Tolstrup made a meeting room using 400 pallets. She transformed them in herringbone parquet floors, with high chairs and an impressive meeting table. The Pallet Project brilliantly demonstrates the potential for open source design. The interest the project has generated proves that local simple design has a wide reaching resonance for global use. This small project is an example of how design can empower new versatile initiatives and make unexpected connections in the world at large.
    -Gian Luca Amadei Blueprint Magazine


Baby Pallet Chair

Upcycled pallet wood
31 x 40 x 67h cm

Park Ave Shop

7 March
New York