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15 March 2021
The Danish brand that produces unpublished works by Italian masters and combines them with the novelties of Scandinavian design
What do Aldo Bakker and the Castiglioni brothers have in common? Two cornerstones of Italian design and a new generation Danish designer? They might seem two opposite worlds yet, Christian Elving – founder with Kim Mekawi of Karakter – claims to have identified a common thread that crosses Europe and unites these designers: “Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Joe Colombo and Angelo Mangiarotti were the Aldo Bakker or Plueer Smitt of the time. Innovative, curious, they worked starting from the principles of design but exploring its boundaries. So even if they don’t have the same aesthetic, they have the same approach, the same attitude. And for this reason pieces from different eras can coexist harmoniously ”, he explains. And this is precisely the concept of Karakter: to re-edit some projects of the great masters of Italian design of the 50s, 60s, 70s, enhancing them with production processes of the highest craftsmanship and at the same time working on long-term projects with today’s designers.
The quality of materials and production processes is a theme very close to Elving, and it is a value that has its roots in its Danish design background in which there is a strong sensitivity towards materials, transformed with meticulous care and designed to last over time. An aspect that he himself finds in the Italian approach and therefore another link between the two schools.
It is a creativity with its feet firmly planted on the earth, which is expressed in a collection of elements that are coherent with each other in terms of style and quality, conceived not in relation to a passing trend but rather with the aim of remaining over the years alongside those who buy them, perhaps changing places inside the house but always guaranteeing an excellent result both on an aesthetic and structural level. After all, the name Karakter is just a reference to character, to a strong personality that perhaps does not make you liked by everyone but makes you faithful to yourself and your ideals. And in this specific case it is a font made of soft and sober colors, clear lines, full bodies, soft curves, captivating and sculptural shapes. “We are not an explosion of color – explains Elving – but we are an explosion of forms expressed in an intrinsically serene way”.
The production coherence delivers these furnishings to the future while the aesthetic coherence incredibly holds together in a harmonious way the Italian design of the twentieth century and the Danish one of the present. In this way, Elving gave life to the “Karakter style” and at the same time injected new lifeblood into the projects of Castiglioni, Mangiarotti and Colombo, finding some of their most innovative and courageous projects for which perhaps the time was not ripe at the time and which today, on the other hand, can finally conquer the limelight they deserve, inserting themselves with ease in refined and well-kept contemporary contexts.
The collection is cleverly conceived, in fact it consists of large and essential furnishings such as desks and consoles but also of smaller furnishings, such as small bookcases and shelving, which are essential to complete the environments, as well as useful. Also among the lights we find some gems, versatile and decorative and the accessories are perfect gifts for the home.
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