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Cate & Nelson, a double inspiration

Cate & Nelson, a double inspiration


Founded in Sweden in 2006 by Nelson Ruiz-Acal and Cate Högdahl, two internationally renowned designers, Cate & Nelson is a multidisciplinary design studio, headquartered in London and working in a variety of industries, such as furniture, lighting, interior products and artistic direction.

The Cate & Nelson duo is made up of Swedish designer Cate Högdahl and Spaniard Nelson Ruiz-Acal. They met in Madrid, while studying industrial design at IED (Europeo di Design). Their workshop covers a wide variety of industries, including furniture, lighting, personal products, such as watches, and home decor. What these two passionate craftsmen have in common is that they work with the highest quality materials, while applying a sustainable production process. Their creations are distinguished by a wide range of skills and high functionality. Thus, their products reflect the sobriety and honesty of the Scandinavian style, with an emphasis on details that make them both beautiful and practical tools.

With offices in Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom, the studio seeks to create elegant and refined interiors, clean and timeless. Their imagination comes from a constant dialogue on design and from the observation of everyday situations and needs in relation to materials and spaces. This firm is involved in all stages of design, thanks to a collaborative vision between designers, manufacturer and end user, taking great pleasure in being part of the journey from the first idea to the product outcome. “We are inspired by Cate’s Scandinavian origins and my southern European heritage, Ruiz-Acal explains. We want to remove the overly classic elements and create a new language, the result of a careful process that allows us to use details in meaningful ways with a well-balanced aesthetic. Our objects are designed to belong to people who love craftsmanship and design, and for whom ease of use is a requirement.”

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Contemporary concept, sober and elegant lines, colors and muted tones resolutely in tune with the times, noble and quality materials… The multiple creations designed and sculpted by Terry Dwan have everything to seduce us. Take a look at this outstanding talent. An architect and designer at the same time, Terry Dawn has, for a long time, established his notoriety on the international scene, thanks to his remarkable style. Based in Milan, this native American but adopted Italian uses a language of her own. Born in 1957, in Santa Monica, California, United States, she began her career after studying engineering and architecture at Rice University, Houston, in addition to training in Fine Arts at Studio Arts Center International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. The designer, who won the Fulbright Fellowship to study the architecture of cemeteries and war monuments in Italy, graduated from Yale University in Architecture in 1984. After an experience alongside Antonio Citterio, with whom she collaborated from 1985 to 1996 and founded the Citterio/Dwan office, working on several projects and residential complexes, fairs and exhibitions, notably in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Italy, she opened her own design agency in 1992 and got involved in great designs, whether in architecture or decoration. A book entitled Antonio Citterio & Terry Dwan: Ten years of Architecture and Design, signed by Pippo Ciorra, was published on the occasion of the exhibition that the duo organized in Bordeaux in 1993. At the same time, it multiplies design projects for the biggest publishers and won numerous awards at international competitions. In 1996, she began by developing industrial design plans for firms such as Sawaya and Moroni, Electrolux, San Lorenzo and Driade. An accomplished designer, she juggles with forms, materials and concepts, questions obvious codes, experiments and explores eclectic universes: from the architecture of private residences, public buildings and interior decoration, through the design and the from salon and exhibition design to furniture and porcelain or silver objects, she is interested in everything and comes out with flying colors. Marrying current vision with everyday functionality, some of her works are part of the permanent collection of the Design Museum at the Milan Triennale. Passionate, her career is marked by numerous explorations of the material where wood, her material of choice, occupies a privileged place. She enjoys working with it revealing its multiple aesthetic qualities, through several everyday basics, many models of which have become emblematic, such as Maui, seat in scented cedar wood, edited by Riva 1920, and the Napa armchair, object oscillating between functional piece of furniture and biomorphic sculpture, or even Implement, a desk composed of two juxtaposed and misaligned wooden boards. Her collaboration with Driade is crowned by the timeless Burgos and Bedda sofas. A sought-after speaker around the world, Terry Dwan has taught architecture at SACI, Florence, and co-taught architectural heritage conservation at the University of Milan. Since 2006, she has been Dean of the Council of the School of Architecture at Yale University and a member of the SACI Board of Trustees.

The duo is also involved with the Cate & Nelson Watches brand, which designs unisex watches, inspired by the iconic Stockholm metro clock. In early 2017, they founded the architectural firm Cate & Nelson/Del Castillo, in partnership with the Spanish architect Rafael del Castillo. There, architecture and design combine to develop new residential construction and conversion projects, such as offices, interiors and hotels. Cate & Nelson has become a staple, receiving extensive international media coverage and its products are exhibited and broadcast around the world.

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