Meet Torstein, the tech guy with a passion for nature

Here at Nordfolks, we’re always curious to learn more about people’s design choices. That is why we have decided to interview various people and hear their thoughts on design. This time we had a chat with Torstein Ødegård, COO of the Ålesund based tech company Visma Avento.

1. Hi Torstein! We would love to get to know you a little better. Who are you and what makes you happy?

I’m a happy man from Skjåk, a small village in the middle of Norway (and nowhere). I grew up without the characteristic fjords and was surrounded with farm land. That has influenced my identity and affects how I look at the world. I moved from Skjåk 30 years ago and was based in Trondheim and Oslo before moving to Ålesund. Here I live with Cathrin and our two children.

I’m the COO of the tech company Avento and my everyday life is all about work-life balance. In addition to spending time with my family I always try to make room for myself and activities that bring me joy.  Whether it’s squash with my friends or skiing adventures in the alpine mountains.

2. How did the move to Ålesund affect your relationship to nature?

I lived almost 20 years in Trondheim and Oslo. Moving to Ålesund made me fall in love with the unique nature surrounding us. The dramatic combination of fjords and rugged mountains are truly spectacular. We have plenty of possibilities within reach and my favorite activity is randonee skiing. 

3. How would you describe the hike of your dreams?

I actually experienced the hike of my dreams last Sunday. Along with three mates we skied the mountain Blæja in amazing spring temperatures. Good conversations combined with a wonderful descent made it perfect. That said, trips to New York with Cathrin is also something I truly value.

4. Have you always been passionate about design?

I can’t say exactly when it all started. I came from a home where design never was an issue, but somewhere between Trondheim and Oslo I gained interest in furniture design. Today that interest involves more than just furniture. I’m fascinated by those simple items that manage to stay relevant, like the Scandia chair.

5. Is there one design item that means more to you than others?

I love my Rocket Appartamento espresso machine. The design is incredible and the quality is absolutely uncompromising. I also have a passion for watches and spend too much time on watch related forums. As with furniture, I find that it’s the simple watches that work best.

6. What are you most excited about right now?

I’m really looking forward to another trip to New York with Cathrin and hope that it’s possible soon. I’m also excited about spring hikes in the Sunnmøre Alps with randonee skis and simple things like making the house and garden ready for spring activities with the kids.