Today, two young Danish designers have the chance to contribute to the legacy of democratic furniture from FDB (the Associated Danish Consumer Cooperative, now known as Coop). Coop took on two designers selected by the Design School Kolding, and this April, those designers, Stine Weigelt and Gitte Lægård, who are both graduates from Design School Kolding, presented their design projects to a full auditorium at the school.
Weigelt and Lægård are following in the footsteps of Danish designer giants such as Børge Mogensen and Poul M. Volther, who designed furniture for FDB early in their respective careers. FDB has long been known for producing its own furniture that everyone can afford and so that the average Danish family could enjoy nice sets of plates, furniture and other types of home decor.
Stine Weigelt’s chair design was inspired by a combination of the round pole chairs of the 60s and 70s and the iconic PP250 chair designed by renowned Danish designer Hans J. Wegner. PP250, which is also known as the Valet chair, was, as with Weigelt’s chair, not meant to be used solely as a chair, but more as a multifunctional storage option for a man’s suit. Also, the backrest can be used as a coat hanger, and the seat can be used as table, for example.
“I was asked to do this project just before Christmas and it didn’t take long for me to decide. Actually, I didn’t have to think about it at all,” stated Weigelt during the presentation, regarding the opportunity as a great honour.
Placing Weigelt’s chair in a kitchen will create a fine interplay with Gitte Lægård’s textiles, which represent the other part of the design project. Gitte Lægård’s project focused on designing new kitchen textiles for the already existing Coop line called ‘Enkel’ (meaning ‘simple’ in Danish). Lægård designed a total of nine elements for the series, and her design brief demanded the textiles should have a woven quality as well as to be able to match the existing series.
“In contrast to its furniture tradition, Coop does not have a long history when it comes to textile design. So I looked to the old posters for inspiration. I thought about their graphic expression and why they are still nice to look at. You know, I wanted my design to last just as long,” Lægård told the Design School Kolding.
At Coop, Category Group Manager Ole Kiel defined the goal of the collaboration with the two new young designers was to target a younger audience for Coop, but the hope was also to find the new star designer of tomorrow.
“Børge Mogensen began managing FDB’s drawing office, when he was 28, and he was the first who led it. We wanted to give a chance to young talents in the design field, in the same way that Mogensen got a chance to prove his worth back then,” Kiel said to the Danish TV channel TV 2.
Weigelt’s and Lægård’s designs will be launched by Coop later this year. Lægård’s textiles are planned to be available this Autumn, while Weigelt’s chair is planned to be launched towards the end of the year.