Public spaces, like school halls, hospitals and hotel lobbies, might not necessarily remind you of innovative, inspiring, multifunctional design solutions, but the following Danish designs are trying to change that by combining modularity, functionality and simple design principles. This month we take a closer look at how Danish designers are working with the modular and scalable aspects of design, with this the first of two articles about designing for modularity in public spaces.
STAGE: a design by FRIIS & MOLTKE, produced by Labofa/Holmris.Designbrokers
Designed as a school interior design, STAGE is a user-friendly, modular system that can easily be modulated to fit the specific needs of a school. As an interior design and furniture design agency, FRIIS & MOLTKE didn’t find a product in the market that matched their ambitions when designing public areas in schools, so they chose to develop a system themselves that would be easy to transform to a school’s need to support both teaching situations and social events.
STAGE is very user friendly in the sense that you can build with it like LEGO. The design originates from concrete interior design situations and needs. This makes the products highly flexible, and we often use them ourselves,” says Mikkel Bahr, Head of Design at FRIIS & MOLTKE.
Stage is optimised in relation to the product and material, which makes it an alternative to specialized furniture, because the price is ultimately lower.
“This system gives us a wide range of possibilities and at a lower cost compared to other products we see elsewhere on the market. On top of that, the institutions themselves can transform their spaces and build up the system a lot easier than they could with specialized furniture,” Mikkel Bahr states.
BRICKS: a design by Lars Vejen for FILOSA, Finland
Also designed primarily for schools, BRICKS, designed by Lars Vejen, focuses on the modular aspect of furniture design.
”I wanted to create a classic and functional piece of furniture, one where many basic functions, like storage, locks, information, exhibiting, noise shielding and dividing, could be united without compromising on the functionality, aesthetics or simplicity,” says Lars Vejen architect and designer.
The DNA of the system is a steel brick that has room for storage. In effect, a cube that can be combined with other cubes, both horizontally and vertically. Circular holes in the steel form the pattern of the cube, which function both as a tool for linking the cubes and allow for ventilation, and from the designer´s point of view, they also enable the cubes free rotation and placement.
The BRICKS design was developed with the user in mind. “When designing the system, my starting point was some concrete use situations where the locker system is the basic function. But the BRICKS can also function for sitting and as a table,” says Lars Vejen.
The system was designed for the Finnish company FILOSA, which means the production of the system is also based in Finland, which helps to make maintenance and service more flexible for the customer.
W Verbier: a design by Frandsen Projects for V Werbier Hotels
The idea behind the lamp system W Verbier, by Danish lighting design company Frandsen Project, was to bring the picturesque landscape surrounding the W Verbier Hotel in Switzerland into the lobby and restaurant of the hotel. Therefore, the lighting system is built around boxes modulated in different sizes and clad with materials that reference the mountain landscape.
“We think of the design and interior before anything else. The entire concept is that the lamps become an integral part of the interior to create atmosphere and life,” says Thomas Hansen, Director at Frandsen Projects.
Everything is produced in Denmark and installed by Frandsen Projects’ own team.
“Almost everything we design is produced in Denmark or at least Europe. It is down to the relationship between quality, flexibility and the culture of production. It is very important for us that our subcontractors are conscious of quality and help us to secure that our high standards are met,” says Thomas Hansen.
GLOBAL: a design by FRIIS & MOLTKE and Erik Jørgensen
At a hospital, quality and functionality are the top priority. That is what GLOBAL, designed by FRIIS & MOLTKE in collaboration with Erik Jørgensen, is all about. The idea of the design was developed during a project at the hospital in Slagelse (a Danish city near the capital Copenhagen), where there was a specific need for furniture that could organically fit in and serve different formations.
“GLOBAL presents a variety of options for both social gatherings and for more isolated rooms. In this way, we satisfy the need both for users that seek a quiet space and users that seek company, while at the same time they can experience a dynamic and exciting interior design,” says Mikkel Bahr, Head of Design at FRIIS & MOLTKE.
The parts of the furniture are simply swapped and easy to clean.
“GLOBAL was designed to make the operation of the furniture as simple as possible and therefore, despite it being very high quality, it represents a very fair price. Even better, it is produced in Denmark,” says Mikkel Bahr.