Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Hometown: Koege, Denmark.
Studio location: Attached to my home in Koege.
Describe what you make: I transform complexity into playful and intuitive design.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Moonsetter, now made by Louis Poulsen. It has all the things I do: design, architecture, and art.
Describe the problem your work solves: I want to create objects with a simple design language serving form and function. And as I have a penchant for graphic forms, because they are so elementary that everyone gets them and because we will also use them 50 years from now, I take complex ideas and simplify them as far as they can go. Everything in my work has a function, a raison d’être.
Describe the project you are working on now: I’m currently launching Moonsetter with Louis Poulsen. How it came about is an interesting story. I was approached by the Next Danish Design Classic television show to be a contestant. It’s a big deal TV show in Denmark and this was their second season, but I was hesitant because I had been spending less time actually designing/making and more time with my child after he was born premature. I decided to do it as a way to find my way back to design. There were five contestants and we all had a brief and three weeks per project to design and manufacture it, with cameras following us around the whole time. One of the briefs was to create a floor lamp that shaped spaces within a space. This is when I designed Moonsetter, which won the whole competition.
I was at my desk one night when I suddenly saw it. A ray of moonlight shone through a gap in the curtains. I put different surfaces in front of it and became fascinated with how something white produced a diffused reflection of light, and a mirror, quite another type of reflection. So I asked myself, how do you simplify this in an accessible idiom, making the complex simple and intuitive? I built on basic geometric shapes with the circle, square, and cylinder, merging Moonsetter into a unique and artistic configuration. All three volumes are essential, as each depends on the other in order for the piece to come together as one, both in function and as a construction.
My designs are all about passing on my own experience to the users. I need to have a gut feeling about every design and to understand it with my body. With Moonsetter, I wanted to activate the whole body as I believe we learn and experience life best through our senses. You shape the light with the disc and sense the kind of mood you create. And you dim the light with your foot. When I won the competition, I asked who could make it. Everyone said “Louis Poulsen of course.” So I brought my prototype to their headquarters in Copenhagen and they wanted to produce it, so here we are! First, it launched in Denmark, and now the rest of the world.
I’m also making 8 limited editions of my Fab Bench, all signed and numbered. It’s a glass bench with a dichroic effect. I designed it for The Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition 2022 and it’s inspired by the exhibition venue’s original function as a central laundry and by the lightness and changing play of colors of the soap bubble. It’s like floating on a color-changing and sparkling soap bubble.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: I’m working on soft seating for a U.S. company (can’t say which), with a timeline for launching in 2024. I’m also working with Louis Poulsen on more upcoming projects I can’t talk about yet.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: I must have great light in my studio—my mood depends on the light. I have 4000K lighting in my studio so it’s very bright and I can see colors clearly. My neighbors even asked if I was growing vegetables since it was so bright. I had to get strong curtains since I often work at night. Every time I have a photographer come in, they love the lighting.
What you do when you’re not working: I play with my six-year-old kid. He likes to create things in my studio—he actually created a lamp too. And when I’m stressed I go winter bathing to shock the system and clear my mind.
Sources of creative envy: People in the workshops I visit. When I see great craftsmanship, and people working with interesting materials, my popcorn brain starts getting ideas. My parents were craftsmen, so I grew up in a carpentry environment and I’m inspired by the feelings I get where things are being made, finding inspiration through senses—not images or technology; nothing I ever did was created behind a computer.
The distraction you want to eliminate: I’d love to eliminate email and text. And when I’m hyper-focused, eliminate sound.
Concrete or marble? Marble.
High-rise or townhouse? Neither.
Remember or forget? Forget.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens.
Dark or light? Light, of course!