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How The New-Gen Danish Brands Elevate The Everyday

Danish design is an established furniture genre with many iconic pieces that have been around for generations. But don’t sleep on the new-gen Danish brands. They are poised to continue the tradition with fresh offerings.



BY Asih Jenie

November 12th, 2019


These rooms below are beautifully furnished with Danish furniture pieces. Can you tell those that were designed after the advent of the internet and those that have been around for generations?

 

Unless you are a diehard Danish design aficionado (for which, we commend your good taste), you probably can’t. That is precisely why Danish design has been associated with timelessness. 

You too might have noticed, judging by their decorative walls and timber floorings, that these rooms were built in the last century. Yet, thanks to these timeless furniture pieces, you don’t feel like these beautifully restored rooms are keeping you at arm’s length. On the contrary, they look warm, inviting, and comfortable to live in. This is also what Danish design is about – elevated functionality.

Danish design has also been associated with designs that outlive their (Danish) designers. But this association has been expanding to include a crop of brilliant (and very much alive) young designers who hail from all parts of the world. Thanks to the new generation of Danish furniture brands. 

 

Collaborating with Next-Gen International Designers 

&Tradition, for example, was founded in 2010 to marry tradition with innovation. The brand’s portfolio of furniture pieces and lighting objects spans reissued and updated pieces from the 1930s to new products by the likes of Space Copenhagen, Nendo and Luca Nichetto.

Introduced in 2014, Space Copenhagen’s Copenhagen light collection is an exercise in contrast. Comprising pendant, wall and table lamps, the collection pairs laser-cut steel frame with opal glass or a matt-lacquered shade spun into shape from a single piece of metal. The result is an elegant light object with an industrial edge that looks perfectly at home in any space. 

&Tradition Copenhagen Pendant by Space Copenhagen

 

The brainchild of Italian designer Luca Nichetto and Japanese wunderkind Oki Sato of Nendo, the Isole modular seating system bears the playful hallmarks of its designers. Isole pairs softly rounded moulded foam seats with a black powder-coated frame, resulting in a friendly shape with a cool graphic touch that is suitable for a wide range of public spaces. 

 

The latest internationally acclaimed designer in &Tradition’s roster is Jaime Hayon. Launched this year, Hayon’s Elefy is a family of chairs with an embracing curve fashioned after that of its muse: the elephant. Elefy is available in a range of colours with a metal or solid wood base. 

&Tradition Elefy by Jaime Hayon

 

Leveraging on Innovation to Democratise Good Design

Founded by Rolf and Mette Hay in 2002, HAY strives to make good design accessible to a broader audience. The brand leverages on sophisticated industrial manufacturing and collaboration with international talents to provide versatile and durable products with added value for the user. 

HAY’s Soft Edge seating range, for example, is made possible to manufacture thanks to the latest technology in moulded plywood technique that allows for more double curvature.

This technique allowed Danish design studio Iskos-Berlin to create a robust three-dimensional form using plywood with just six-millimetre thickness, as opposed to the market standard ten-millimetre and save on materials and resources to manufacture the chairs. 

Soft Edge chairs at PPP Coffee Singapore

As its name suggests, all the edges of Soft Edge‘s seat and back are softly curved, creating subtly organic curves that fit the human body well. Coffee lovers in Singapore can experience the comfort of Soft Edge at the newly opened PPP Coffee Store at Funan.

HAY Soft Edge collection by Iskos-Berlin

The Soft Edge range is available in many variants and colours, including seats in plywood with and without upholstery, as well as choices of either timber or metal base in chrome or black powder-coat. A variant with recyclable polypropylene seat and back is also available in a wide range of colours for that robust and uncluttered look. 

 

HAY also takes our increasingly mobile and compact life into consideration. GamFratesi’s Silhouette sofa and Pierre Charpin’s PC Portable Lamp are created for this. 

Silhouette is a play of lines and volumes that looks at once generous and lightweight. It features an angular front view with distinct piping details with cushions to match, a curving rear  –  a pleasant visual surprise  – atop thin steel or oak base. Available in low and high back in various sizes and covers to suit both residential and commercial spaces.  

HAY Silhouette Sofa range by GamFratesi

 

Made with robust plastic, PC Portable Lamp is practical and refined. The battery-powered lamp features scratch- and water-resistant matte finish in various colour options. Its light source is hidden from view by a polycarbonate diffuser.

HAY PC Portable Lamp by Pierre Charpin

Whether it’s providing a downlight on your working desk or ambient light on a reading nook or restaurant tables – PC Portable Lamp offers unparalleled freedom and flexibility – both indoors and out. The complete PC collection also includes table and pendant lights. 

 

Offering Past and Future Icons

Founded in 1967, Gubi is a seasoned Danish furniture brand, but its approach to design has remained fresh and relevant. The brand creates a dialogue between past and future icons with its collection, which comprises modernist designs from the ’30s to ’70s (and updated their technology and manufacturing for our times) and new pieces by emerging designers. 

Danish architect and designer Louis Welsdoft drew the design of Multi-Lite Pendant light in 1972. The lamp, with its iconic metal ring and tiered, moveable quasi-spherical shades, became a timeless artefact from the golden era of Danish Design. 

Gubi Multi-Lite Pendant Light by Louis Welsdorf

Gubi has made the Multi-Lite available not only as pendant light, but also as table and floor lamp. By individually rotating the shades, Multi-Lite can be transformed into multiple combinations where the light can be directed upwards, downwards or both, serving as an asymmetrical light object.

 

Gubi’s more recent collaborations are poised to become future classics. The Stay Sofa by Space Copenhagen, for example, flaunts an instantly recognisable sculptural form while being compact. The Stay  range is available in a wide variety of sizes to populate both the public and private realm, providing comfort and visual interest while maximising the footprint. 

Gubi Stay Sofa and Lounge Chair by Space Copenhagen

GamFratesi’s Bat Dining Chair is playfully pragmatic, or perhaps pragmatically playful – you decide. Its embracing shell and armrests are fashioned after the shape of a bat’s wingspan. 

Gubi Bat Dining Chair by GamFratesi

Taking today’s fickle consumer habit into consideration, Bat can be customised with a wide range of upholstery, and updated when desired to give a different expression to the space. 

Gubi Bat Dining Chair by GamFratesi

 

“These three brands put a real focus on functional, liveable design that enhances everyday life,” says Richard Munao, Founder and Managing Director of Cult Design. “They continue to uphold all the qualities of great Danish design – excellent craftsmanship, quality materials and beautiful, well-thought-out design.”

Cult is a leading furniture purveyor in Australia that has been supplying a curated selection of furniture that enhances everyday life to the Asian market.

In Singapore, &Tradition, HAY and Gubi are all available from Cult Design Asia.