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After Monika Mulder studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven from 1992 to 1997, an internship in the design department of IKEA in Sweden led to a job and a succession of notable projects. Since 2007, she has run her own design studio, Monika Mulder Design, in an old sugar factory in Gothenburg. From here, she works as an independent designer for companies like Materia, Markslöjd, Pholc, Lundbergs möbler, Tenzo and IKEA. As well as designing furnishings, she gives lectures at schools and conferences, aiming to share her experiences as a designer to enlighten others about the process of creation. Her designs have received accolades, such as the Best Furniture of the Year in 2003 and the Best Lamp of the Year in 2017 from the Elle Decoration Swedish Design Awards. Her work has been shown in international exhibitions and has been published in books like the International Design Yearbook.
Raised in a small village in the north of the Netherlands, she explains that there was not an overabundance of toys when she was young but she was given tremendous freedom to explore—paper and glue being the main tools she used to create things out of what she had around her. Creating was natural for her; it set the direction for her professional life. Even today she has a strong belief that anyone can achieve a great deal with small means. She celebrates that fact that she works with major manufacturers in the design industry, calling it a privilege to participate in the advanced production methods making today’s products sophisticated and well-engineered. In her designs, Mulder emphasizes the sculptural elements of objects, aiming to combine smooth functionality with beauty and playfulness.