Designer Øivind Slaatto on Tuscany, collecting bicycles and the poetic structure of snail shells
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My personal style signifier is Japanese workers’ trousers. I bought eight pairs from a builder’s merchant in Omachi while I was working over there. They’re quite simple but the details are really good, which is how I approach my own design process. GR-225 Geride trousers, Y2,900 (about £20); store.workman.co.jp
The last thing I bought and loved was a knife sharpener that I got for almost nothing from the Red Cross megastore in Nørrebro. I think my knives will last forever now. Fælledvej 4, 2200 Copenhagen (rodekors.dk)
And the thing I’m eyeing next is the Kumo sofa by Anderssen & Voll for Danish brand Hem. It’s a cleverly made modular design that can be configured to fit your space – pretty much a perfect product. From $2,800, available to pre-order now for September; hem.com
An indulgence I would never forgo is my collection of bicycles. Cycling is like breathing to me and I go everywhere by bike. I have four: a folding Brompton, an Omnium Cargo for carrying heavy things to the studio, a Cannondale sports bike for long distances, and an old one for leaving at the airport when I go overseas. Brompton, from £1,425; brompton.com. Cannondale Quick 1, €1,249; cannondale.com. Omnium Cargo, DKr17,499 (about £2,057); omniumcargo.dk
A recent find is the sculpture park Il Giardino dei Suoni di Paul Fuchs in Boccheggiano, Tuscany. Fuchs works with metal and stone to create vast, minimal sculptures that have this incredibly peaceful energy. Strada Provinciale Montemassi, 58026 Roccastrada GR (+3905-6699 8221)
The best gift I’ve given recently was Bang & Olufsen’s A9 speaker, which I gave to my brother Jakob for Christmas. It means something to both of us because it was the first product I designed and he helped me to make the model. We stayed up for 48 hours straight to meet the deadline. £1,999; bang‑olufsen.com
And the best one I’ve received recently was a postcard of a palm tree from my girlfriend, Camilla. It was from the In My Head exhibition at Milan Design Week in April, featuring installations by 20 students from HEAD, Geneva’s school of art and design. It was the most interesting show we saw in Milan, and this postcard will always remind me of it. hesge.ch
The one artist whose work I would collect is almost impossible to identify. I think it’s the most beautiful thing to collect lots of artists and designers. I am fascinated by Paul Fuchs so I’d probably start with one of his sculptures, then add pieces of furniture by French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec because everything they make is so stylish. bouroullec.com. paulfuchs.com
The person I rely on for personal wellbeing is my Alexander Technique teacher Erica Ebbe. I’ve been seeing her for a year and I’m far more aware of how I use my body when I sit, walk or stand. erikaebbe.com
If I didn’t live in Copenhagen, I can’t imagine where else I would want to live. I’m privileged to be in a city that was planned with help of the urban architect Jan Gehl. He made it such an extraordinarily liveable place. It’s designed for bicycles and I have 350km of paths to choose from, including the ribbon-like Cykelslangen [Cycle Snake] from Bryggebroen to the Fisketorvet shopping mall on the waterfront. Winter sea swimming is very popular here and I swim with the Svanemøllebugtens Vinterbadelaug. The water is ice cold, but a hot sauna soon warms us up. Cykelslangen, visitcopenhagen.com. Svanemøllebugtens Vinterbadelaug, Svaneknoppen 7, 2100 (svanevinterbad.dk)
My favourite app is Moment. It tracks how much you use your phone and, as a result, I’ve deleted all my social-media profiles to give me more time and freedom. inthemoment.io
My style icon is no one person – not because I believe I have nothing to learn from other people, but rather because I know I can learn from everyone.
My favourite room in my house is the balcony, or rather balconies – we have a morning one where I watch the sunrise, and an evening one where we can have a cup of tea as the sun sets. There’s only just room for the two of us but it’s lovely to sit there listening to the birds singing.
An object I would never part with has yet to find me. There’s nothing wrong with buying products – I make a living creating them, after all – but I won’t ever let an object become my identity.
An unforgettable place I have travelled to in the past year is the mountains around the Tuscan village of Roccatederighi. My girlfriend Camilla and I were staying with friends and, as we love walking, we’d gone off into the mountains. We managed to get ourselves lost, but just as we were starting to worry, a family of wild boar appeared with their young. They came really close to us, which felt amazing.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a tiny black and yellow snail shell that I found in Italy. The geometry and mathematics of a snail’s shell never cease to fascinate me – it’s a minimalistic structure that is also extremely clever and poetic. I find the simple colours of this one particularly beautiful.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Jægersborggade in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. This street used to be the centre of a gang war, but now it’s one of the most exciting parts of the city. It’s full of restaurants. Grød, which serves mostly porridge, is one of my favourites. The owner has become a kind of rock star – he does porridge demonstrations at music festivals. Manfreds is good for relaxed, rustic dishes, and for a treat there’s Relæ, where the food is all about maximum flavour and minimal ingredients. There are about 40 art galleries in the street too, as well as more independent design shops than I can name, but that’s the joy of it – every shop there is interesting. Grød, Jægersborggade 50, 2200 (groed.com). Manfreds, Jægersborggade 40, 2200 (manfreds.dk). Relæ, Jægersborggade 41, 2200 (restaurant-relae.dk).
The last meal that truly impressed me was a breakfast Camilla made for me recently. We ate fruit, bread, avocado, eggs and asparagus. It was delicious, of course, but what made it special was that it was just an ordinary day and she had taken such care over each element.
The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were two pairs of Biom Fjuel shoes. They’re like slip-on trainers so they’re incredibly comfortable, but they can look smart too. From £130; eccoshoesuk.com
The last music I downloaded was my brother Jonathan’s new album Ydun, released in September He’s a classically trained cellist but on this he’s playing with the jazz pianist Carsten Dahl and they’re improvising a new style of music.
In my fridge you will always find free-range organic eggs and oat milk. I love boiled eggs, cooked for five minutes and 40 seconds, and I always start the day with a bowl of oat-milk porridge. Bananas are another staple, although I don’t keep them in the fridge – I eat so many that my doctor has told me it’s not healthy.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s an extremely well-written examination of our present and our future.
The grooming staple I’m never without is a toothbrush. I don’t care what brand or colour it is, but the head must be soft.
If I weren’t doing what I’m doing now I would be a professional musician. I used to be one, so I am already in my alternate career.