POISE is a new shelving system from the Danish furniture manufacturer, Engelbrechts. Designed by Anders Hermansen, POISE is also a way of designing a certain atmosphere and making the system an actual architectural addition to its surrounding spaces.
“My general approach is that you can create and alter atmospheres and moods through your designs. That’s the main thing for me. And, then there’s a lot about practicality and functionality of the design but the main thing is to engage a certain mood – to wake up and be happy about the atmosphere that the design spreads in your living room. It’s not only about whether it’s nice-looking, it’s more about the spirit and feeling that each piece possesses,” says Anders Hermansen.
Hermansen is a Danish designer who has designed numerous products and furniture since his graduation from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, in 1982, at the age of only 22. Mastering industrial design and furniture architecture, the Danish designer spends most his designing hours figuring out how to create a certain mood and sustain a pleasant atmosphere with his designs.
The new modular shelving system to come from Hermansen’s hands is designed for the Danish furniture brand, Engelbrechts, and delicately defines its surroundings without taking up much space. Hermansen explains that, designed with a simple and sculptural expression, it radiates an extreme elegance without dominating the room while each T-shape is either placed above or next to another.
“POISE is architecture in its simplest form with endless possibilities to manipulate and shape the room. The way that the shelving system acts as an architectural element: the way light and shadows evolve around the surfaces and spaces in the shelves. The shelves must find their place within the lighting that already exists in each space. At the same time, POISE engages in a kind of interplay that ensures that it doesn’t crave too much attention and awareness from its surroundings. It sorts of blends in, in a natural way, and it doesn’t become too heavy to look at. It shows that it has a kind of sympathy to its surroundings,” says Hermansen.
Walking for a Better Design
An avid walker himself, Anders Hermansen hikes in the woods near Copenhagen to empty his head and kick-start his process. “You do a kind of selection of what’s important and what’s less important in your process, when you walk,” Hermansen explains. According to him, the selection comes naturally and the walks help to find the right mood or atmosphere in his designs while he, at the same time, can escape everyday life’s worries and problems.
For instance, Hermansen’s walks have helped him figure out the maritime construction principles of push and pull that are utilised in POISE.
“You’ll see the maritime inspiration in the wire and it’s more or less the same as your spine and bones – without your tendons you would fall apart. I believe it’s my approach and understanding of physics that reveal itself through the construction principles I’ve applied.”
Another construction principle that Hermansen has used for POISE is the whole modularity of the system. The shelving is made modular due to practical considerations but the design has also eliminated the creation of double walls.
“You usually see double walls when combining multiple bookcases or shelves into a bigger system. With POISE, the system multiples and gets bigger more naturally without any excess material, you could say. At the same time, there’s an element of adaptability to it due to the modularity of the design. It can act very dynamic. But, what really makes it for me is the system’s ability to tie a knot to its architectural surroundings. POISE is more space-based than furniture-based. It becomes part of the architecture around it, more than being a single piece of furniture,” ends Hermansen.
The POISE shelving system and several other products from Engelbrechts can be experienced at booth 657, at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, from 21-24 May, in the Javits Center, New York City.