Friday Five with Jacob Granat

After spending three winter seasons snowboarding in Chamonix, France, and a year in Hanoi, Vietnam working with students, Swedish designer Jacob Granat started his own company importing and selling furniture, lamps and textiles back in 2006. He quickly realized that selling them wasn’t as much fun as making them himself, so he enrolled in a cabinet-making course, then in university. Now, freshly degreed in furniture design, Granat showed his line ”The Sound of Forest” at the Stockholm Furniture Fair and Superstudio Piu, Milan this year. For this week’s Friday Five, he shares the people who inspire him most.

1. Carlo Mollino (1905-1973)
Architect, furniture designer, race car driver/designer, stunt pilot, extreme skier, writer, and erotic photographer. His life sounds like the brainchild of a Hollywood screenwriter, but he was real and a very talented man in all these fields. In 1949 he designed what is maybe the most beautiful writing desk ever — the Cavour.

2. Wes Anderson
I love to get lost in Wes Anderson’s world. Every little detail is important, the music, the context, the script all come together in a gesamtkunstwerk. When a talented person, surrounded by other, like-minded, talented people get to take his vision all the way, unique and wonderful things happen. They do, again and again, with Wes Anderson’s projects.

3. Julius Shulman (1910-2009)
A truly amazing architectural photographer. His photos inspire me daily, and the lifestyle they promote is a real driving force. One day I will build myself a house like that. When designing, I often subconsciously ask myself, would this fit in a house photographed by Julius?

4. Victor Papanek (1923-1998)
His book Design for the Real World should be read by everybody, especially designers and architects. Back in 1970, he knew that designers and architects have a responsibility to use their knowledge for the good of humankind, rather than to work for companies that produce crap just to make money. Designers today need to be less focused on promoting their own name and more focused on serving people’s needs. If designers spent half the time they use to design yet another quirky lamp trying to solve real problems, the world would be a better place.

5. My Family
At last, no more men; the two most important people in my life are women. My fiancée and my daughter. In the words of the famous poet Bryan Adams, “Everything I do, I do it for you…”

Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.