Today’s Danish design stands on the shoulders of our giants of the past – inspired by icons like Jacobsen, Wegner and Mogensen – but what do the new designs look like and who should you pay particular attention to? We set out to find five upcoming designers to watch in the future.
FEM is an Aarhus-based design studio consisting of the design duo Anders Engholm and Sarah Cramer. Focusing on furniture and interior design, FEM has already received a handful of accolades, including HAY’s Talent Award 2014. The young duo has also had the honour of being finalists in the Danish Entrepreneurship Award 2014 and the Pure Talents Contest 2015.
In terms of design, FEM works with the famous balance between form and functionality by using their professional differences to complement their designs. This process has already resulted in the design of the elegant ‘Bendy’, a bench with a significant wavy look created by a backrest made of 1.5mm ash plywood that curves from side to side. According to the designers, ‘Bendy’ will be designed in a black version after the summer.
Anour is a Danish design company that creates conceptual lighting solutions. The name Anour, meaning light in Farsi, is derived from Arash Nourinejad, founder and architect behind the company and its designs. Anour is based in Copenhagen, where manufacturing of handcrafted quality lamps with a focus on functionality, quality and exquisite materials also takes place. Sustainability and traditional craftsmanship are other keywords for the identity of the brand.
Anour’s lamp designs merge traditions with the latest LED technology. The ‘A_Light’ is a handmade lamp in iron, aluminium, brass or copper. Shaped as an extruded rectangle, the ‘A_Light’ comes in five standard lengths, while custom sizes can be created on request. In addition to the oblong versions, the ‘A_Light’ also comes in three- and four-pointed versions, using the same lighting technology.
Made by Michael
Based in Herning in the middle of Jutland, Made by Michael is a design studio founded and led by Michael Daae Christensen. Daae Christensen originally started the studio to prepare himself for the transitioning from student to professional designer, when he was studying furniture design at TEKO Design + Business. In his own words, Made by Michael’s goal through design is to leave the viewer with a little ‘aha’ moment of childish wonder and joy.
In Made by Michael’s designs you will find everything from stools and lamps to wardrobe furniture. For instance, his ‘Töjbox’, created for WOUD, is sustainable wardrobe furniture that focuses on simple, functional design. Made by Michael’s designs have recently been presented at Salone del Mobile in Milan as well as at the Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Graduating from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, School of Design this summer, Frederik Werner is a true newcomer to the world of professional designers. His time as a student has, among other things, been spent as an intern at Danish architect firm NORM Architects. His designs mix traditional Danish craftsmanship with the likes of Japanese construction methods and powerful functionality, to produce items such as ‘My Reading Chair’, which is a chair with addable bookshelves.
Werner’s graduation project revolves around the concept of a rocking chair. The goal of the project was to make a modern rocking chair that combines the style of Danish design brand MENU’s existing product line with the designer’s own mode of expression. The graduation project was completed with a professional brief from MENU, enabling Werner to ready himself for the transition from student to full-time designer.
Roon & Rahn
Another fresh duo of designers is Roon & Rahn. Based in the very centre of Aarhus, Nicki van Roon and René Hansen are the two designers behind the name, founded in April 2014. They started out designing and building furniture for their own apartment, when they first moved in together at the beginning of 2014. Mixing competencies within industrial and graphic design, Roon & Rahn’s work results in conceptual design solutions.
For instance, ‘Moodboard’ is a highly customisable hanger system for you to use to store your jacket, hat, shades, and so on. Available in four different sizes, and customisable with four different hangers that are kept in place by a magnetic locking system, it really can be tailored to fit your own wardrobe.