It all began when Holger Nielsen, a trained metal turner, designed all the furniture for his wife Marie’s hair salon. One of the pieces was a metal bin with a lid that easily opened with just the touch of your foot. Not long after, the bin was in demand even in neighbouring communities.
We had a look into how this popular bin came into being. Its design has not changed since first produced in 1939 – apart from the lid. That was altered in 1949 from a wavy shape to a rounded one because of new production techniques. The lids are mounted and adjusted by hand, and it takes a skilled craftsman to ensure the perfect closing mechanism. Once a VIPP production team has mastered the different techniques needed to make the bin, they can assemble five bins an hour. Each one consists of 42 components and passes through the hands of 15 employees before leaving the factory.
We quickly understood, from talking with VIPP and looking at their products, that they have an overall design philosophy that they live by: ‘Form follows function.’ From product to product, an individual interpretation of that results. For instance, on both their bathroom mirror and the lid of their salt and pepper mill, you’ll find a cog wheel.
Today, VIPP is a third-generation family business run by Holger Nilsen’s daughter Jette Egelund and her two children Sofie and Kasper Egelund, who are all still developing products according to the principle of the company’s founder: ‘Form follows function.’
‘I had no experience with pedal bins, let alone running a metal factory,’ says CEO Jette Egelund about taking over the company in 1992. But today, the VIPP collection comprises many products for both kitchen and bathroom, including a complete kitchen range made in the VIPP signature materials: stainless steel and rubber.
Today you can find VIPP products all over the world, and since 2009, the pedal bin has been included in the permanent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.