Hygge is the Danish ethos of cosiness, sanctuary and warmth. Central to the sense of community that runs through every Scandinavian season, hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”) is all about bringing people together for conversation, contemplation and shared experiences - the pleasure taken in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary.

As part of Wallpaper* Handmade 2015, we asked Japan’s Koichi Futatsumata and Danish-inspired design studio and watchmaker Skagen to consider the abstract and physical notion of hygge marrying it with an elegant Japanese aesthetic. The result is the thoughtful re-imagining of a familiar object via craft, creativity and empathy. The result is the Hygge Board…

Inspired by Skagen’s work in design, Skagen and Koichi Futatsumata created the Hygge Board as a table top piece intended to engender a community spirit around the dining table - a sense of a considered, shared experience with friends.

The hygge philosophy is central to the Skagen way of doing things; founded in 1989 and inspired by the village of Skagen, where the Baltic and North Seas meet, the brand’s mission is to combine the inspiration of the unique Danish design aesthetic with contemporary innovation. The results are functional, purposeful, quality products that offer an alternative to the complex world and make an authentic connection to simple pleasure. Skagen’s portfolio of products now includes not just wristwatches but also leather accessories, home goods and jewellery that takes its cues and curves from the Grenen shoreline of Skagen’s seaside location.

Koichi Futatsumata’s concept for the Skagen Hygge Board at Wallpaper* Handmade 2015 employs a complimentary aesthetic, echoing Skagen’s expertise in timekeeping design and the Danish brand’s ethos for considered simplicity.

A graduate from the Department of Engineering and Architecture at Kyushu Industrial University whose work has earned countless awards and exhibited in permanent collections in design museums around the world, Koichi used traditional Japanese Manaita cutting board materials and crafted Japanese Cypress wood, resting the board on brass feet. “My key inspiration came from a picture provided to me by Mariza,” explains Koichi Futatsumata. “People sitting around a table, enjoying dinner with family and close friends in a slightly darkened space with warm lights. There is a big cutting board in the centre of the table for serving cheese. That cutting board made a significant impression on me.”

The passing of time on the Hygge Board is represented by an elegant hourglass at the centre, handcrafted by Swiss company Glaskeller, the glass specialists behind the development and production of Marc Newson’s Ikepod Hourglass. Embodying the Skagen values of warmth, sociability and special, hygge moments, the idea is that the grains of sand – specially sourced from Skagen’s ruggedly beautiful coastline - slowly passing through the hourglass, encourage a moment of measured tranquility.

You sit around the Hygge Board slowing down to enjoy the pleasurably informal ceremony of good times and simple nourishment. “At Skagen, watch making is woven deep into the soul of the company,” explains Skagen’s chief creative director Mariza Scotch. “Given this, we thought one poetic, powerful approach to the Wallpaper* project would be to consider an alternative means of measuring the passage of time. We wanted to capture the act of being in the moment, the hourglass illustrating time spent with friends. But we didn’t want to calculate or represent a precise amount of time - we wanted to release ourselves from needing to measure time properly…to simply value, experience and share time in its purest and most delicate form.”