We recently spoke with upcoming Danish designer Troels Flensted, who has just set up the new Flensted Studio in the northern harbour district of Copenhagen, which is currently busy producing bowls for a new order – and not just any order; the order comes from the museum shop at MoMA in New York.
“Naturally, it will not have a place in their permanent collection, but receiving such an order is nice, both in terms of volume and recognition. It is a great step forward”, says Flensted.
The ‘Poured Bowls’ that MoMA’s museum shop have ordered are part of a larger collection of products, all of which are layered with a new material consisting of mineral powder and water-based resin added pigments: a material that Flensted has developed over the last two years, and which gives each product a distinctive expression that evokes both associations to marble and terrazzo.
Being keen on learning more about materials, Flensted constantly seeks out new ways to work with them. With the Poured Bowls, the young designer has discovered expressions in the materials, which he believes delivers a pleasing aesthetic value. Emphasizing the material- and process-oriented design approach, he is skilled in the methods he uses and at finding sources of inspiration.
“I have several shelves filled with all sorts of materials that I continuously buy and blend together to see what happens. In many of the things I do, I try to work with plain and simple forms. I would like peoples’ eyes to focus on the product’s material and surface, and a simple and accessible conformational story can help to emphasize this”, explains Flensted.
To Flensted, a material- and process-oriented design focus is important on several levels, while the aesthetic and emotional values, which can be attached to a design and influence the user’s relation to the product, are also given high priority by the designer.
“If you can create an object which is designed to last, is functional and is pleasing to the eye, you have created a good design. However, the best design possible, in my view, is when you also accomplish creating an emotional bond between the user and the object — this way you have created something people will keep and cherish for a long time, and that is good design, I believe”, says Flensted.
Flensted’s products all differ in their expression due to their materials, which adds to the product history and value, according to the designer.
“Value is created by the whole story of the creation. The mix of materials and the way they flow into the mould and settle is visible like a frozen moment. You can explore the product and discover all the steps along the way, which gives you a greater connection to the product”, says Flensted.
Flensted graduated with a bachelor’s degree in product design from Central Saint Martins in the summer of 2014. While most of his fellow students applied for permanent jobs after their final exams, establishing his own design studio was natural for Troels Flensted.
“I felt an urge to go my own way. To come here in the workshop, and to work on the commissioned orders, but also to be able to experiment and to have this open and free approach – that is the part of the design process that makes me happy. It makes me want to get up in the morning.”.
This January, Flensted is showing his work in Paris together with Danish designer and workshop colleague Jonas Edvard. The duo has been awarded the prize Talents à la Carte in connection with the design fair MAISON&OBJECT, and will be representing Denmark with their products.