A love for beautiful things drives the work of Erik Bratsberg, who creates interiors as well as design objects and works of art. How can something so simple as a collection of lines, shapes, and surfaces eventually mean so much to us, he often wonders. We spoke with him about his extraordinary career trajectory and show the interior of Persona, a restaurant in which practically each detail is his work and that forms a first milestone on his path.
The designer's range is extremely wide, but that is exactly what makes it so interesting for him. The learning process of a new commission satisfies his desire for discovery, whether it is another medium, material, or a completely new style. It is also this variety, driven by a strong curiosity, that he finds the most beautiful aspect of his job. ‘In the end, it is just different canvases and tools you use, but the thought process remains the same.’ He also loves trying out a new method, for example, and then discovering what the result is. In all this variation, he still sees a common thread himself. As for form, the Swede is more likely to opt for organic and asymmetrical lines. ‘I have spent too many hours working on Power Points to still be intrigued by rectangles and rigid lines,’ he explains. Furthermore, he tries to stay as close as possible to traditional craftsmanship and pure materials, approaching them with an innovative method or uniting them with modern materials. Classic, natural materials such as wood, stone, metal, and glass are among his absolute favourites. He finds the properties and natural patterns of stone and wood a gift to incorporate into a design. Adding texture and patination to those materials brings an extra dimension to the final result.
'I use different canvases and tools, but the thought process remains the same’
Surface processing is important as well, as they should not only look attractive but also feel good to the touch. Sometimes, however, his choice of materials is limited by the workshop he finds himself in at the time and where he does not always have access to heavy machinery. For this reason, and because he enjoys it so much, the designer often reverts to simple hand tools or materials that he can work entirely by hand. These include concrete, epoxy resin, plaster, and XPS (cellular foam). Recently, he also discovered leather, a material that has several processing options, including sculpting, painting, patination, and hardening. In the coming period, he will therefore explore what he can do with it himself, beyond the conventional ways in which the material is usually used. In line with those materials, you can also expect his use of colour, which stays away from bright hues, but rather uses soft shades in a balanced result. Currently, he is a big fan of blue and green tones, although he still prefers to let the shapes of his designs and interiors speak for themselves rather than have the colours do it. The best advice Bratsberg ever received? ‘“Just resign,” my wife said when we had finished renovating our home and I had to go back to the office. I think she had grown tired of my years of complaining, and that she understood my passion for interior and design.’ The choice to finally chase his childhood dream already led to impressive results. His work in Persona is clearly only the beginning of a creative story that could go many ways, at least only with positive outcomes. What the future holds for the artist, he cannot yet say. ‘I let my mind and curiosity lead me to the next blank canvas.’
You can read more in the summer 2023 edition of Imagicasa Magazine.
Photography by Erik Lefvander