As a founding designer for Case Furniture, Nazanin Kamali’s contemporary designs reflect the attention to precision detail found in Japanese arts, while her bespoke craft commissions are characterised by high levels of craftsmanship and intricate forms. We meet her on a crisp morning by the sea, where she lives.  

What inspired you to become a designer?

The love of making things. Since a very early age, I made clothes and furniture for my dolls and helped my mother who was a dressmaker.  

Do you come from a creative family?

My mother was a dressmaker and my cousin is an illustrator / cartoonist / artist. I don’t think that matters in the slightest, because creativity needs to be nurtured instead of inherited. My creativity was nurtured by my mother, not intentionally but circumstantially. 

Tell us a bit about your design process.

My furniture design process always starts with the function and my personal prerequisite of that object. For example, if I have to design a sofa, I look at what I want from that sofa and start there.  

What inspires your designs?

Function, followed by aesthetics.  

What is the common element found in your work?

In furniture design, function.  


What materials do you favour?

I’m not really concerned with materials, that is a secondary choice.  

Is there something you’ve always wanted to design, but haven’t had an opportunity to do?

A house.  

What is your favourite piece that you have designed for Case Furniture and why?

The Celine desk: the design process was quick, since the solution for the brief was obvious, and the manufacturing process was very quick and without any compromise. The end result is a desk that appeals to a wide range of markets.  

What was the idea and inspiration behind your latest product, the Ziba Chair?

The design of the Ziba Chair was driven by the manufacturing process. It was decided that the chair was to be made in ply and in two pieces, and utilise 3D ply. It was exciting, because the end result was an organic shape.  

Do you have a favourite designer?

The Bouroullec Brothers.  

What is your favourite chair?

The Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen.  

Who is your favourite architect? So many to choose from, but Antonio Gaudi is the first architect who made me look at architecture.