Good Shapes Make the Best Designs


PIECE of DENMARK portrait

Photo by Piece of Denmark


PIECE of DENMARK divide 2

Photo by Piece of Denmark



Photo by Piece of Denmark



Photo by Piece of Denmark



Photo by Piece of Denmark


The shape is essential when new designs are brought into existence at Piece of Denmark. The small two-person company is absorbed by combining shapes and materials into perfect beauty.

Designing is liberating yourself during the process. It is a balance between finding peace in our comfort zone and twisting that zone slightly. It is about daringly peeling off the layers again and again. And when we are finished, the product should reflect the red thread from our previous designs and at the same time have an innovative expression itself, said Susanne Holmvang, who continued:

“Sometimes design calls for something specific. The two of us can decide that we would like to do some woodwork, but sometimes the shape just calls for a certain material.”

She and Dorte Kjettrup are the creators behind Piece of Denmark, a small company creating sculptural designs in traditional materials like glass, wood and porcelain. For the two, the shape is fundamental and it is often the kick-starter for further development.

“Often the process begins with a talk about forms and proportions. Then we start our research, figuring out which material will fit the form we discussed. We experiment a lot during the entire process. We create sketches, 3D-drawings, paper models and prototypes. Some of our ideas are very spontaneous, so we test them quite early in the process,” Dorte Kjettrup explained and Susanne Holmvang continued:

“We are extremely hands-on. We need to see it in a 1:1 scale. We have a close relationship with our different professionals and easy access to their workshops, where we can try out ideas, which is important – because sometimes a certain shape calls for a certain material or vice versa.”

Porcelain, glass and wood might seem like three very different materials, but they’ve got some common features. They are all natural, honest and delicate materials, and to Dorte and Susanne it is important that their design accompanies the living materials, which are always in movement and not static like plastic. Perhaps there will be a bubble of air in the glass or a mark from a knot in the tree, but these small flaws are exactly what makes all items one of a kind.

“We can’t control the materials. They all have their own life, but that is, what makes every product different,” Dorte stated.

Regardless of the shapes and materials, the keywords for Piece of Denmark’s designs are timeless, uncompromising and functional. Susanne and Dorte aim to make designs that are long-lasting and cross generations.

“Our designs have to be durable and functional. The material should communicate recognisability and express comfort. Our designs also have a fragility, which hopefully communicates that you should take good care of it,” Dorte Kjettrup said and Susanne Holmvang summed up:

“Behind every one of our designs is traditional craftsmanship, which takes time. We work slowly. People make an effort to do their best, and that should be expressed in our designs as well.”

Companies mentioned in this article

The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

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