A conversation with Clara von Zweigbergk from HAY

Co-founders and Creative Directors Mette and Rolf Hay are committed to working with their generation’s best designers from all over the world to create high-quality products that would be available to a wide audience. This mission remains at the core of the HAY brand today. Among their most successful product lines is the Kaleido Tray Collection, the brainchild of Swedish designer Clara von Zweigbergk.

The word kaleidoscope originates from Greek and means "seeing beautiful shapes". You can certainly relate to that when looking at the colourful Kaleido Trays. For you, what's the story between this item and its name?

This is a really beautiful meaning that I did not know before. To me, the name Kaleido represents the never-ending combinations of colour and shape that create patterns and therefore remind me of a kaleidoscope. Kaleido is a modular system, and as a designer I have always been interested in modularity. Also, I do have a soft spot for perfection in symmetry and the satisfaction when something just fits, when things align and falls in place. I suspect that I am drawn to this as a counterbalance to my, in other ways, quite unorganised self.

The trays are available in five different sizes and a multitude of colours, which allows for countless variation options. Did you have this array in mind from the get-go, or did it evolve along with the design process?

As many of my ideas, this project started with a piece from another project I was working on. In this case, it was a paper shape of which I had folded the edges. I started to play around with several of them in several colours and quite quickly I saw the potential of creating a modular system. I then added four other shapes to the original big one.

The Kaleido Tray series is certainly not the only product you have created for HAY. Can you sum up your design language for the brand in three words?

I guess it would be colour, simplicity and playfulness.


Founded in Copenhagen in 2002 with the ambition of creating contemporary furniture for modern living, HAY’s continued vision is to create high-quality and well-designed products in collaboration with some of the world’s most talented, curious, and courageous designers. Inspired by the originality of art, the foundational principles of architecture, and the dynamic nature of fashion, the HAY brand has found an enthusiastic international audience.

HAY München by Einrichter

Reichenbachstraße 20
80469 München

The interview with Clara von Zweigbergk was first published as an audio interview at mcbw 2022 as part of the mcbw DESIGNWALK Glockenbach.