Studio Max Gerthel is a multidisciplinary design studio engaged in architecture in all scales, from buildings to installations, furniture and lighting. Through speculative research projects and art installations, the practice takes a critical stance in the production of new spaces and objects: Rather than simply adding to the already diverse landscape of things surrounding and serving us, our projects aim at initiating discussion and reflection mediated by the object.
While the process of design is has to be pragmatic and inclusive, one of the most important components –desire – still operates in a realm outside of logic and reason. Our projects aim to evoke desire through notions such as contrast, contradiction and surprise. The artistic focus is on creating and supporting interesting relationships: Generic/Specific, Inside/Outside, New/Old, Public/Private.
Since 2020 the studio is based in Malmö working mainly with architectural projects with a special focus on transformation and redevelopment of existing buildings and interiors. We frequently collaborate with other local practices such as Karlsson/Lauri.
Max Gerthel is an architect, designer and curator working in the fields of architecture, art and design. He founded Studio Max Gerthel in Beijing in 2013 with the aim of using design as a method of navigating the complex terrain of early 21st century China. Between 2011 and 2016 he was also co-director the Institute For Provocation, a workspace and research platform for artists and architects.
He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture in Copenhagen and lived in Beijing from 2010 to 2017, Previous experiences include Spatial Practice, MAD Architects and Edouard François. He has taught architecture studios at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Tsinghua University, Academy of Art & Design, and CAFA IFC in Beijing.
After returning to Sweden in 2017, he re-oriented the studio toward architectural projects, focusing on transformations, renovations and additions. Addressing the complex task of upgrading and redeveloping existing buildings and interiors has become one of his main competences.
In 2019, Max Gerthel co-founded SPARK, a platform for exhibitions and projects in the intersection of art, architecture and academic research. The platform operates in Malmö with an exhibition space on Båstadsgatan 4, in the multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Sorgenfri.