Freelance Designer and Interior Architect

Mia Cullin finished her education at Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden in 1998 after studies in Sweden, Italy and Denmark. Right now she is working for Swedish and Finnish companies such as Adea, Ateljé Lyktan, Gemla and Materia. Mainly with furniture projects, but also with lighting and interior details.

Mia's products reveal a fascination for geometry and three-dimensional structures with relief patterns, as well as a great interest in both materials and construction.


What I do
As I am a freelance designer and have been the last 19 years, I have been working with several clients. Four years ago I had the opportunity to get in contact with and start to work for Materia and until now I have designed four products for the company.

When I design
I always think about that the piece of furniture must be a part of an interior, not a solitary and as I think an interior is for ever changing, the pieces should be lightweight and easy to move. One important aspect is about cutting down the use of material- to make less impact on the environment as possible,

Good design to me means
When every detail is well thought out, the form reflects the function and it is evident how the object should be used.  

My style influences
Mostly female designers, for example  icons as Eileen Grey, Charlotte Perriand and Greta Grossman and designers of today: Ilse CrawfordInga Sempé and Patricia Urquiola

The materials we use
I am really interested in different materials and their characteristics. I have a great interest in textile which can be seen in all products I have designed for Materia. Actually, a lot of people believe that I have an education in textile design. But my education was interior architecture and furniture design.

What I have noticed in the last few years
The interest for design and architecture has increased, which is something positive. More people are working in the area, the negative aspect is that many pieces are getting less original, less elaborated and less innovative.

The thing that has excited me most recently
For me personally:  We have moved to a larger house which gives me the possibility to move my studio and work from home.

My workspace needs to have
Daylight and two working tables- I need one table for theoretical and one for practical work, as I work hands on with for example models and material tests.

The big thing for me at the moment
Having time for material research concerning interesting and innovative materials on the market.

How I manage work/life balance
It is a challenge having three children and your own design company. It helps when your husband has a flexible work and the clients are long time planning companies.

One of the biggest challenges for me
Written above…the balance between work and family in everyday life.

Being a woman in design is
I have both male and female colleagues and generally there are few differences. But one thing I think about is that the male designers more easily grab the projects without thinking : Am I best suited for this job ?

My biggest inspiration

I find peace in
Go kayaking and swimming. I love water…

My wisdom for the world
Be yourself and be open minded