Primal instincts in Nick Ross’ new collection for +Halle

Stockholm-based Scottish designer Nick Ross designs the Proto series for Danish brand +Halle

Furniture in aerial view
Proto range by Nick Ross for +Halle
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‘I wanted to create a feeling of a primal place, for instance, tucking yourself into a corner,’ Scottish designer Nick Ross describes of his interpretation of the word dwelling. This was the starting point given to him by Danish brand +Halle for a new collection of upholstered furniture, that aims to provide a cosy, personalised environment, much like our homes.

Taking it back to archaic connotations of dwelling as instinctive, Ross veered away from modular lines to realise a curvaceous range made up of chairs, sofas, benches and stools that together create a habitat of safety. Keeping in theme with human instinct, +Halle lined up three sets of design teams to immerse in the theory of dwelling, and then from this research, Ross formed initial prototypes that people could touch. ‘It was an organic process and quite a playful one, engaging everyone in the concept.’ From this the Proto collection was born, a soft and highly interactive series – from Birdseye view, the sculptural forms appear as a whimsical drawing when arranged together.

chairs touching

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Human intimacy was also embedded in the collection –when arranged arm to arm, two of the Proto chairs appear to have a warm embrace. These elements were again trialed before the official release – ‘the one thing that I noticed was that people started to move the pieces around, in the same way as we had tested,’ Ross says of the movability of the Proto landscape that can offer environments of repose and hiding for individuals.

Ross imagines the pieces in areas of vulnerability, ‘hospitals are an interesting setting or any space where you need that inner feeling of security.’ Proto is a collection devised with plenty of thought, and for the benefit of human connection that we all crave –  Ross muses that Proto can be used to ‘foster an intimacy that often gets lost today.’

Two chairs

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curvy designs

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Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.