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a conversation on


with Ivan Fernandez
Architect and Store Concept Creative Lead

Knowledge To attempt to make products with a longer life, we invest time in their development. It can be in the form of researching source materials to identify archetypal qualities, or creating custom yarns that will run through the collections. The same consideration is given to all our designs – from prints to garments to in-store furniture.

‘As an architect and designer, you often want to invent something new; you want to create a small world that is completely different from what was before. It’s your job to present the reality in the nicest and most interesting way possible. But this is a way of thinking that promotes constant renewal, and it leads to decisions which many times are not necessary. To me, it’s really important to cool down this design fever. We don’t always have to put makeup on the world.

’It is really important to cool down the design fever. We don’t always have to put makeup on the world.’

knowledge Ivan Fernandez

When designing our stores, we always try to understand the features of each individual space and ask ourselves what actually needs to be done. What do we have to take away and what do we need to add to make it beautiful and functional? What characteristics does the building have that we can use and incorporate into our world? It’s about showing respect for the history of the building we’re entering, to value what’s already there, but it’s also the foundation of our sustainability approach; a philosophy based on simplicity, and doing only what’s absolutely relevant.

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle are known as the four principles of sustainable design. We put a lot of effort especially in the first part – to reduce – and try to apply it to everything we do. From the measurements of the components we are producing, to the packaging we need to transport them, to the functionality and longevity of each design. Of course we invest in recycled and circular materials whenever possible, but it doesn’t really matter whether you use sustainable materials if you produce 15 different types of tables that are going to be replaced in a few years, or even months.

We always go back to the core function of all things. To the archetype. What is a chair? Why does it look the way it does? What material best serves the design? If you combine functional, well-considered shapes with durable high-quality materials, then one type of chair is enough. It’s never going to be outdated, it’s always going to serve its purpose, and it’s going to look great for decades. We took great care to develop the store concept ahead of our launch and made a conscious choice never to use seasonal interiors that have to be thrown out after a few months, which is a common way for many other brands to signal renewal. When we do make changes, they are small refinements of the original idea. Our stores are not a design fair but a space for presenting our products in the best possible way. The environment must never take over. Our job is to support the collection through unseen design, with components that you will not question or even pay attention to. On the other hand, for the background to be invisible, all the simple little details need to be perfect. You can always feel when something is wrong.

Environmental design has a huge power to influence your mood and perception of things. If you enter one of our stores and just feel good without knowing why, that’s a success.’

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Selected reading

Skedblad chair

Designed in 1933 by Swedish architect and furniture designer Carl Malmsten, and named after the bowl of a spoon, the Skedblad chair is used to furnish all ARKET cafés.

Take care of your products

Longevity is at the core of our brand. If our clothes are used beyond their first wearer, we have done something right. Designing for circularity starts at the drawing table – and extends to guiding customers on how to take care of our products.

Roasted aubergines and heritage tomatoes

This vegan dish is easy to prepare and delicious on its own as well as served as a side with other summery flavours.

Scent families

The International Perfume Museum outside Grasse is an open-air conservatory for fragrant plants and flowers connected to the area’s century-long history of perfumery. Its gardens are planted according to traditional scent families, with florals, herbs, woods and others grouped together.