It is increasingly difficult to visit a major design week without coming across Note Design Studio’s myriad offerings. The 14-person team, founded in Stockholm in 2008 by Johannes Carlström and Cristiano Pigazzini, has become known for its championing of collaborative work, with a studio that is intentionally non-hierarchical to ensure it remains an ‘ideas-led’ environment.

It’s perhaps this emphasis on working together that has allowed the studio to branch out into each and every area of design – creating not only buildings and interiors, but the products within them, the graphics used to market said products, and the design strategy to make them a success – ‘basically just about any activity that requires a convention-busting creative approach, ’ says Pigazzini.

A rectangular desk

The Office Group, Summit House, London, UK, 2019. Photography: Michael Sinclair, Andrew Meredith

A blue sink fitting with a simple chair facing
Reform, Frame Kitchen, New York, USA and Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018. Photography: Reform

In recent years, their success has led them all over the world, with projects ranging from co-baking-cum-workspace in Dalian, China, to a totemic installation inside a Milanese palazzo. Wherever they go, though, one thing remains the same: the country in which they are working will always have an influence on the design choices they make and approach they choose to take.

Pigazzini says that working in a country like China pushes them out of their comfort zones in terms of thinking outside the Scandinavian box. ‘The fact is that we are at two different ends of the world; sometimes we tend to look at things that as if is the only truth or a common sense, but working with China is like a constant reminder that there is no such thing as the only truth,’ he says.§

Square shaped sculpture placed in a clearing in a wood
 Waiting Windows, Nacka municipality, Sweden, 2019. Photography: Erik Lefvander
A portrait of Christiano Pigazzini
 Christiano Pigazzini. Photography: Daniella Gyllensten