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Åbäke is a transdisciplinary graphic design collective, founded in 2000 by Patrick Lacey (UK), Benjamin Reichen (FR), Kajsa Ståhl (SE) and Maki Suzuki (FR) in London, England, after meeting at the Royal College of Art.

Members of Åbäke co-founded Sexymachinery (Magazine, 2000–2008), Kitsuné (Record label, 2002-2012), Dent-De-Leone (Publishing house, 2009), Drawing Room Confession (Art journal, 2011). They have taught at RCA (2004–2010), Central St Martins (2005-2015), IUAV (2009), HEAD (2012-on going), Isia Urbino (2013), Camberwell (2015), Chelsea (2015) and Yale (2015)


Åbäke is a collective of four graphic designers: Patrick Lacey studied at Brighton University, Kajsa Stahl studied at HDK (Högskolan för Design & Konsthantverk, Gothenburg), Benjamin Reichen and Maki Suzuki studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. They meet during the MA in Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Art (London) and established the studio in the summer of 2000. Much of their work concentrates on the social aspect of design and the strength that collaboration can bring to a project. Events often involve film, dancing, eating and cooking and teaching.

Since their studies they have been collaborating with the designer and artist Martino Gamper on several projects: the book corner for the British Council,[1] Trattoria al Capello,[2] the book 100 Chairs in 100 Days and its 100 Ways[3] and the publishing house Dent-De-Leone.[4] In 2004 Åbäke started a collaboration with the association The Friends of Arnold Circus that develops the public space around Arnold Circus in east London.[5]

Åbäke was selected for the Barbican Art Gallery exhibition Communicate: Independent British Graphic Design since Sixities which was curated by design historian Rick Poynor in 2004 and charted over 40 years of graphic design in the United Kingdom.[6] They have exhibited both in England and internationally at institutions including: and Experimenta Lisbon 2009[7] in Portugal, the 9th Biennale of contemporary art in Lyon, Stanley Picker Gallery,[8] Triennale di Milano[9] and DeVleeshal in Middelburg.[10]

In 2012 Åbäke curated Unbuilt Helsinki, a research studio, a model workshop and a model room established inside the Museum of Finnish Architecture.[11] The research project branched out from a long term collaboration with artist Nene Tsuboi and architect Tuomas Toivonen which including the building of a public sauna in Helsinki.[12]

In 2012 the collective curated All the Knives (Any printed story on request) where the concept is to make the dynamics of graphic arts more widely known among the general public and to survey into the transdisciplinary nature and new forms of presentation of the medium.[13]

They also participated to discussion about graphic design, groups effects in a graphic design studio, editorial problems and interests, contemporary art.[14][15][16][17]

They have collaborated with artists (like Ryan Gander, Francis Upritchard, Per Hüttner, Johanna Billing, Fritz Haeg), and worked with institutions (like Nouveau musée national de Monaco, Design Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Serpentine Gallery and CASCO), musicians (like The Cardigans, Daft Punk) and designers (like Maison Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan, Peter Jensen, Martino Gamper).


  1. ^ ... 'The Book Corner', a touring exhibition, in London last summer, was also curated by Emily King, and realised through a collaboration with furniture designer Martino Gamper and graphic designers Åbäke... http://eyemagazine.co.uk/print/review.php?id=77&rid=419 Archived 2013-04-20 at archive.today
  2. ^ ...Apart from the interest in cooking we also wanted to meet new people and show our work, so I made some furniture to go along with it, and Maki, Kajsa and Alex did the graphics... http://mono-blog.com/2012/09/martino-treats-03-trattoria-al-cappello/
  3. ^ "100 Chairs in 100 Days and its 100 Ways (Pocket Version) by Martino Gamper". martinogamper.com. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  4. ^ "Dent-De-Leone : Dent-De-Leone is". dentdeleone.co.nz. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  5. ^ "Supporters | The Friends of Arnold Circus". Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  6. ^ Poynor, R.; Crowley, D.; Barbican Art Gallery (2004). Communicate: Independent British Graphic Design Since the Sixties. Yale University Press. p. 236. ISBN 9780300106848. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  7. ^ "British Council | United Kingdom". britishcouncil.org. Archived from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  8. ^ "Åbäke | Stanley Picker Gallery". stanleypickergallery.org. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  9. ^ "Graphic Design Worlds | Graphic Design Worlds". graphicdesignworlds.triennaledesignmuseum.it. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  10. ^ "De Vleeshal: Published by Åbäke, Exhibited by De Vleeshal, Loaned by Zeeuwse Bibliotheek, Sold by De Drvkkery, Resold by De Boekenbeurs". vleeshal.nl. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  11. ^ ""UNBUILT HELSINKI" at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki / MOUSSE CONTEMPORARY ART MAGAZINE". moussemagazine.it. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  12. ^ fi:Kulttuurisauna
  13. ^ "All the Knives (Any printed story on request) | z33". z33.be. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  14. ^ Communicate: Independent British Graphic Design since the Sixties, 2004, Published by Laurence King Publishing, Uk, ISBN 978 1 85669 422 3)
  15. ^ Iaspis Forum on Design and Critical Practice—The Reader, 2009, ed. Magnus Ericson, Martin Frostner, Zak Kyes, Sara Teleman, Jonas Williamsson, Published by Iaspis & Sternberg Press, Germany, Sweden, ISBN 978-1-933128-63-4
  16. ^ Hello! Uk Graphics, Graphic Design in the UK since the 1980s, 2010 ed. Yukari Ohyama, Takeshi Kudo, Akira Takamiya, Kaori Murakami (Rocket Company/RCKT) Published by PIE International Inc., Japan, ISBN 978-4-7562-4036-1
  17. ^ The Transdisciplinary Studio, Alex Coles, Published by Sternberg Press, 2012, Berlin.

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