Highsnobiety

Out of descriptors that fit Gustaf Westman’s designs — colorful, bubbly, soft, squiggly, curly — one word that doesn’t come to mind is spiky.

Ignoring the custom, spear-covered mirror he made for Yung Lean in 2022, all of Westman’s furniture is quite the opposite of spiky. And yet, the day he dials into our video call, he is just about to launch a new iteration of his signature Chunky Cup: the Gustaf Westman Chunky Spiky Cup.

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“The Chunky Cup is very cute and soft. [With the spiky cup] we were trying to do the opposite: to make something that you don't even want to touch,” says Westman, speaking from a hotel room. “But maybe we failed because it's very nice to hold.”

The inflated-looking Chunky Cup has become one of Westman’s most popular items, an affordable entry point to the Stockholm-based design studio’s offerings. Once you go up the price ladder, there are also wavy mirrors, blob tables, and curvy lamps, each as whimsical as the next.

“If you look at my pictures, every time I show my objects, there are a lot of colors and chaos. And that's more how I like to present them,” says Westman, referring to his Instagram posts where designs from his pastel-colored universe are brought into the real world, often clashing with each other or standing in stark contrast to quotidian backdrops. “But if you just look at one object in itself, in another environment, it's very toned down.”

Highsnobiety

Once you look past the unconventional shapes and colorful finishings, there is a pragmatism to be discovered in Westman’s homeware. The oversized chunky cup, for example, is designed to stop its contents from spilling: “I always have my cup in a bed so I wanted to have this barrier around the cup — a big chunky saucer — so it just stays,” the designer told Highsnobiety last time we caught up. Similarly, the spiky upgrade he has now given to the cup isn’t done purely for aesthetics. Each pointed nub gives it more grip, making it easier to hold, and relieving the design team’s initial worries that the cup would hurt to touch.

For all of its playfulness and eccentricity, what’s made Westman’s furniture reach wide-scale success — with viral TikTok imitators and A-list fans including Tyler, the Creator and Olivia Rodrigo — is its simplicity. He strips a design down to its bare bones and then reimagines it with the singular goal of being as curvy, chunky, blob-like – or now, spiky – as possible.  “People don't think [my designs are] minimalistic,” says Westman. “But for me, they are minimalistic and Scandinavian in the sense that there are very few elements and are very easy to understand.”

The Highsnobiety x Gustaf Westman collaboration will be available exclusively on the Highsnobiety iOS App, Highsnobiety Shop, and Berlin Flagship Store on April 25, with the Chunky Spiky Cup exclusive to Highsnobiety until May 1.

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