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13 December 2021
The two designers know how to interpret the legacy of the Danish design masters in a contemporary way
Danish modernism and poetry are the traits that describe the style of Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou, founders, in 2005, of the design studio Space Copenhagen. Both Danish, they grew up and were formed within an important design tradition that they know how to read with a contemporary look and elegance. Aware and proud of their creative roots, they nourish and enrich them by exposing themselves to international influences and responding to new functional needs.
What is the meaning behind the studio’s name: Space Copenhagen?
We like the abstracts and open palette of possibilities related to design that is implied by the word SPACE, and we wanted to express a point of origin through the connecting word COPENHAGEN, which is where we are from and where we have our studio.
Could you describe how you perceive Danish design and its strong influence on the international design taste?
Danish design is a natural part of our heritage and upbringing – both personally and professionally. We love Scandinavian and Danish design, and, in many ways, we feel very connected to it. That said, we also feel that there has been a certain tendency to narrow down and simplify the actual creative span of the design approach from, for example, the Danish masters. Kjærholm’s minimal approach is very different from Juhl’s organic equilibrium and Arne Jacobsen’s playfulness. What ties them together is a mutual interest, approach and curiosity towards other cultures, travelling, being open minded and looking outwards. Coming from a small country that becomes a very natural discourse and, in that sense, we feel and share the same need. And maybe a certain passion for organic materials and details filters down. With that background in mind, our interests and process allow us to engage in many layers of references and inspirational sources. Depending on the character of each project, we often try to let ourselves be influenced by intuition in a combination of both contemporary elements and historic motifs. Seeking a certain slowness to be embedded in our design, we find that diving into the vast pool of great design, belonging to different time periods and cultural origins, may enhance a sense of familiarity. This, in combination with whatever contemporary touch brings it back to today, projects a timeless quality into our designs.
You have worked on important contract projects: how is this field changing now, is it true that hotels and restaurants are getting more and more close to the domestic space?
Yes, this is certainly a dominant discourse, we have noticed a shift in orientation in the past 6-7 years at least. It also works in reverse, where domesticated spaces also get hugely influenced from hospitality driven experiences and dynamics.
Can you tell us more about the new collections for GUBI?
Design is a balancing act between the elegant and the crafted, the refined and the naive – Unbound is a characteristic example of just that. It is liberating to take the sculptural element seriously and understand that light is not just for solving practical needs, but also for creating the sense of peace and harmony required for a perfectly balanced space.
The Howard Collection is inspired by our fascination with the industrial beauty of New York City. We have paired this with our passion for everyday functionality as well as sculptural silhouettes and organic materials that age gracefully over time. For the Private Collection, we found inspiration in the beauty of vintage Japanese storage and display furniture – in fact, the defining detail for each piece is a Japanese wood joint. We searched for a simple, strong and recognizable design language focusing on high quality, beautiful materials and refined, elegant details.
You design not only furniture but also accessories: why are the small details so important for a beautiful interior?
As architects, our work pivots around spatial composition and ambiance as we seek to create harmony in a space. A prime example of this is our Collect line of home objects and accessories designed for &Tradition, an understated collection which reflects our commitment to quality and longevity. We wanted to create a cohesive offering of home accessories that would bring folksy comfort to any interior, and an architectural fragment that softens and completes the atmosphere that we are always striving to create.
Cover picture by Martin Bubandt
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