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Nina and Jack, you are a couple both privately and professionally. You have probably been asked this a million times, but isn’t it difficult to separate the two worlds, or have you simply accepted that there’s only one sphere?

Nina Tolstrup (NT): We have many different spheres and some of them we share. We have projects we work on together and projects we work on separately and with other collaborators. We have different strengths and qualifications and that is great when we work together as we will bring our different skills to the table but it also takes us in different directions and into separate projects. Our studio work is much richer and better for it. 

Jack Mama (JM): For me it is one sphere, we have the same sensibility about things whether it be art, architecture, object, environments, colours fashion etc. We started to design together when we first met, which came very naturally. Lots of our work stems from our observations and sometimes frustrations about things that we feel could be improved. Needless to say, I have been hugely inspired by Scandinavian culture through Nina. Every time I visit Denmark there is something that wow’s and inspires me.  

You have a very distinct colourful universe. Was the thrill of colours a part of the initial spark between the two of you, or is it something that has accelerated since you met and joined forces?

NT: When I meet Jack he was only wearing black and had pitch-black hair. I thought a bit of colour would be nice as he also got the southern olive coloured skin and can carry colours very well. After having introduced the idea of adding a bit of colour to his all in black wardrobe, he took it from there himself and has never been in an all black outfit since. 

In our work we do use colours but we do actually work a lot with white and different kind of wood and the colours we use is mostly smaller interventions to give character to the work.

JM: When I met Nina, she was living in an amazing apartment that was once her grandmothers in Copenhagen. It was an eclectic and colourful mix of traditional and modern styles. My appreciation and confidence with colour indeed grew over time.

You have made numerous collaborations with a very diverse field of people. Aside from the joy of presenting a final product from a co-creation, can you elaborate on the rewards of collaborations with such a diverse field?

NT: We got this outlook – which can be a blessing or a curse – but we love to wander into the unknown and take on projects and challenges what has nothing to do with what we have done before. So we are not particular specialised in any field. We both come with a very different background into design. Jack has worked a big part of his career with in big corporate design studios and have always been working close with the future and research departments. I have a background in marketing and advertising before studying design. I have had shops, done photo journalism, worked in fashion trend forecast, been design manager and much more before we started Studiomama. There are so many amazing people to collaborate with in London and we have in Studiomama always been reaching out to include great people to enrich our work.

JM: Many of our collaborations have come through projects where we have explored sustainability and in particular rethinking our relationship to waste. It’s been very rewarding to have such willing collaborators in these projects. It’s brought us into contact with other exciting worlds of art, fashion, and textiles and enriched the outcome tenfold.

You have both worked through an era, where we have seen an enormous growth in products and design companies. If, and how, has this affected your view on products and design in general?

NT: We have not really been a part of this change. We have worked with a few of the same companies over the years and a lot of our work has been site or project specific.

JM: It’s been amazing to see the growth of many design led companies especially in Scandinavia. At the same time the world has change and particularly of late, we now have to question and think about our role when taking on new projects


A question to Nina; many of your projects have relations to London sites and British culture. Despite having spent a large part of your adult life in the UK; do you still have a Danish outlook and perspective on projects that relates to British culture?

NT: Yes for sure, I’m viewed as the Scandinavian designer and I do also feel that my Danish background and upbringing is part of my design DNA. 

You seem to move effortlessly between many creative fields; design, interior, architecture and exhibition design. Do you always work together on all projects or does each of you have particular preferences?

NT: We work together whenever it is possible. I’m for sure more excited by designing spaces and Jack is more artistic and love designing products.

JM: We love the diversity in these fields and find that these can often enrich one another. For us it’s about scale and understanding the contexts of use.

The late great Japanese designer Shiro Kurumata once said, that every generation creates its own products as a testament of the time they live in. Do you think this point is still valid or has objects and products lost its cultural significance to digital apps and digital products?

NT: I think this is very true. The cultural barriers might be more washed out but every generation are reflecting a specific time in history and creating their own statements. It is very important as we need to move forward and specially the time we are in now, the next generations has to turn the whole idea for designing, manufacturing up side down. The model we have followed for generations are not working anymore.

JM: Yes, the materiality of product and spaces is a constant, but indeed the relationship with the digital and physical is a defining aspect of our time and is shifting. So yes will be living more and more with this duality. Shiro is by way is one of my favourite designers.

Is there a single product or object that you never get tired of interpreting (individually or together)?

JM: We find that our avenue to revisiting an existing typology of object is always so different that we never get tired of it.

What’s is your partners strongest trait professionally?

NT: We have lots of opposite qualities, which we use in our work. None of us have big egos and we always navigate the design process without disagreements and with focus on the best possible outcome. Jack effortlessly generating new ideas and is much more calm and patient than me.

JM: Nina is always challenging me with projects and my preconceptions about what and how we work. I love her Passion, Creativity, and Enthusiasm.

Any wishes or advice for young aspiring creative?

JM: I teach at the Royal College Art, which I really enjoy. This year has taught us, and the graduating students all about how we can be creative in these challenging times and also about resilience. NT. It is for sure difficult times but it is at the same time also a point in history where everything is up in thee air and the challenges are enormous but also very exiting and we defiantly need the new young designers to be the driving force in this change.


In our work we do use colours but we do actually work a lot with white and different kind of wood and the colours we use is mostly smaller interventions to give character to the work.

JM: When I met Nina, she was living in an amazing apartment that was once her grandmothers in Copenhagen. It was an eclectic and colourful mix of traditional and modern styles. My appreciation and confidence with colour indeed grew over time.

You have made numerous collaborations with a very diverse field of people. Aside from the joy of presenting a final product from a co-creation, can you elaborate on the rewards of collaborations with such a diverse field?

NT: We got this outlook – which can be a blessing or a curse – but we love to wander into the unknown and take on projects and challenges what has nothing to do with what we have done before. So we are not particular specialised in any field. We both come with a very different background into design. Jack has worked a big part of his career with in big corporate design studios and have always been working close with the future and research departments. I have a background in marketing and advertising before studying design. I have had shops, done photo journalism, worked in fashion trend forecast, been design manager and much more before we started Studiomama. There are so many amazing people to collaborate with in London and we have in Studiomama always been reaching out to include great people to enrich our work.

JM: Many of our collaborations have come through projects where we have explored sustainability and in particular rethinking our relationship to waste. It’s been very rewarding to have such willing collaborators in these projects. It’s brought us into contact with other exciting worlds of art, fashion, and textiles and enriched the outcome tenfold.

You have both worked through an era, where we have seen an enormous growth in products and design companies. If, and how, has this affected your view on products and design in general?

NT: We have not really been a part of this change. We have worked with a few of the same companies over the years and a lot of our work has been site or project specific.

JM: It’s been amazing to see the growth of many design led companies especially in Scandinavia. At the same time the world has change and particularly of late, we now have to question and think about our role when taking on new projects


A question to Nina; many of your projects have relations to London sites and British culture. Despite having spent a large part of your adult life in the UK; do you still have a Danish outlook and perspective on projects that relates to British culture?

NT: Yes for sure, I’m viewed as the Scandinavian designer and I do also feel that my Danish background and upbringing is part of my design DNA. 

You seem to move effortlessly between many creative fields; design, interior, architecture and exhibition design. Do you always work together on all projects or does each of you have particular preferences?

NT: We work together whenever it is possible. I’m for sure more excited by designing spaces and Jack is more artistic and love designing products.

JM: We love the diversity in these fields and find that these can often enrich one another. For us it’s about scale and understanding the contexts of use.

The late great Japanese designer Shiro Kurumata once said, that every generation creates its own products as a testament of the time they live in. Do you think this point is still valid or has objects and products lost its cultural significance to digital apps and digital products?

NT: I think this is very true. The cultural barriers might be more washed out but every generation are reflecting a specific time in history and creating their own statements. It is very important as we need to move forward and specially the time we are in now, the next generations has to turn the whole idea for designing, manufacturing up side down. The model we have followed for generations are not working anymore.

JM: Yes, the materiality of product and spaces is a constant, but indeed the relationship with the digital and physical is a defining aspect of our time and is shifting. So yes will be living more and more with this duality. Shiro is by way is one of my favourite designers.

Is there a single product or object that you never get tired of interpreting (individually or together)?

JM: We find that our avenue to revisiting an existing typology of object is always so different that we never get tired of it.

What’s is your partners strongest trait professionally?

NT: We have lots of opposite qualities, which we use in our work. None of us have big egos and we always navigate the design process without disagreements and with focus on the best possible outcome. Jack effortlessly generating new ideas and is much more calm and patient than me.

JM: Nina is always challenging me with projects and my preconceptions about what and how we work. I love her Passion, Creativity, and Enthusiasm.

Any wishes or advice for young aspiring creative?

JM: I teach at the Royal College Art, which I really enjoy. This year has taught us, and the graduating students all about how we can be creative in these challenging times and also about resilience.

NT. It is for sure difficult times but it is at the same time also a point in history where everything is up in thee air and the challenges are enormous but also very exiting and we defiantly need the new young designers to be the driving force in this change.


The late great Japanese designer Shiro Kurumata once said, that every generation creates its own products as a testament of the time they live in. Do you think this point is still valid or has objects and products lost its cultural significance to digital apps and digital products?

NT: I think this is very true. The cultural barriers might be more washed out but every generation are reflecting a specific time in history and creating their own statements. It is very important as we need to move forward and specially the time we are in now, the next generations has to turn the whole idea for designing, manufacturing up side down. The model we have followed for generations are not working anymore.

JM: Yes, the materiality of product and spaces is a constant, but indeed the relationship with the digital and physical is a defining aspect of our time and is shifting. So yes will be living more and more with this duality. Shiro is by way is one of my favourite designers.

Is there a single product or object that you never get tired of interpreting (individually or together)?

JM: We find that our avenue to revisiting an existing typology of object is always so different that we never get tired of it.

What’s is your partners strongest trait professionally?

NT: We have lots of opposite qualities, which we use in our work. None of us have big egos and we always navigate the design process without disagreements and with focus on the best possible outcome. Jack effortlessly generating new ideas and is much more calm and patient than me.

JM: Nina is always challenging me with projects and my preconceptions about what and how we work. I love her Passion, Creativity, and Enthusiasm.

Any wishes or advice for young aspiring creative?

JM: I teach at the Royal College Art, which I really enjoy. This year has taught us, and the graduating students all about how we can be creative in these challenging times and also about resilience.

NT. It is for sure difficult times but it is at the same time also a point in history where everything is up in thee air and the challenges are enormous but also very exiting and we defiantly need the new young designers to be the driving force in this change.


See Artist Bio