Mathias Bengtsson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1971. He studied furniture design at the Danish College of Design and the Art Centre College in Switzerland, before returning to Copenhagen to form the design collective “Panic,” whose mission was to give young designers a voice within the Danish furniture industry and create new opportunities. Bengtsson relocated to London in 1996 to attend the Royal College of Art, where he studied under Ron Arad and earned a degree in 1999. He then collaborated with fellow graduates to create the design studio ‘At the Third Stroke’. A year later, Bengtsson co-founded ‘Design Laboratory’ with Sam Buxton, before eventually establishing his own studio in 2002.
Bengtsson’s design philosophy is materials and process-based, as opposed to image-driven. His works are visually striking, striding the divide between fine arts and industrial design. He does not subscribe to the ideas that form must follow function or function follow form. The majority of his designs require both high-tech production facilities and labor-intensive handworking processes, and they are unique or created as editions. All of his furniture forms are functional, and (in his words) intentionally recall the “organic shapes of the Danish design tradition”. Thus, his collections have names such as “growth”, “cellular”, “slice”, “spun”, and “fluid.” His works have been shown extensively in the contexts of both sculpture and design, exhibited and acquired by museums and design galleries in Europe and America.