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Everyone has played with matchsticks at some point in their childhood and has become fascinated by the innumerable possibilities for combining shapes that the identical matchsticks provide. Furniture designer Per Borre is one such child, but for him his fascination of identical elements has only grown with age. His masterpiece, Astral, from 1979 is an excellent example of this. The identical shape of matchsticks and the idea of reusing the same element over and over inspired this award-winning bench. 

Borre’s interest in construction dates back to when he was a small boy. Afternoons were spent at construction sites with his father, who was an architect, and his evenings were spent in a basement with some stumps of throwaway wood, a box of nails and a hammer. 

Borre went on to become a furniture carpenter, a furniture designer and an architect. His immediate demands on a piece of furniture are that it “mustn’t collapse” but it must also be able to justify its position in the marketplace. Whenever he begins on a new project, he uses a process of elimination to define what it is he is looking for so as not to create something superfluous. Why design a chair or a bookcase if it already exists? For Borre the formula for success is simple: 

“You have finished when you are satisfied.”