Material world: meet the 4 Danish designers to look out for at Salone del Mobile
Since 2008, the Mindcraft exhibition at Salone del Mobile has been promoting Danish craftsmanship with newly commissioned works from emerging talents to established names. Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, the show reveals the experimental works of creatives who spend their time mastering fresh techniques from desirable workshops around Denmark.
Previous curators of the show include GamFratesi and Cecilie Manz, and this year’s selection of designers has been curated by Ditte Hammerstrøm, who contributed to Mindcraft’s first edition and designs for the likes of Erik Jorgensen and Galerie Maria Wettergren.
‘Its the Haute Couture of Danish design’ she describes of the initiative, noting that it is not about making functional furniture, but the unique use of different materials. From the roster of designers creating everything from open flame-patterned porcelain to armour made from wire, architecturally trained Kevin Hviid stands out for his use of 303 steel pipes to create a graphic bench that appears as an oversized xylophone. The highly engineered piece is the result of meticulous measurements and is inspired by the Cobra chair, and the prickly patterns of a cactus.
Billy, By Kevin Hviid for Mindcraft 2018
Elsewhere Carl Emil Jacobsen travelled to the Hanklit cliff on the Danish island of Mors to source his materials. His crushed clay, polystyrene foam and fibre-reinforced concrete totems take on anthropomorphic traits. Couple duo Pettersen & Hein have also recently been moving towards the personification of furniture, hence the creation of the LMA (lick my ass) chair. Made of dyed concrete and anodised bent aluminium, the contemporary design exudes subtle humour with its playful earthy colours and face-like structure.
Adopting interesting techniques in wood are Rasmus Fenhann and Wednesday Architecture. Fenhann brings his experience in Japanese wood work to his Copenhagen workshop, and for the show has formed an oregon pine bench with CNC-cut rippling effects that are reminiscent of sand dunes. Female duo Wednesday Architecture however use the environment of the Milanese courtyard, where they are exhibiting, to experiment with their works – ‘its really all bout the weather from an architectural perspective.’ Their angular oak furniture has been realised as metaphorical 'flowers' in the space, taking its cues from Karl Blossfeldt’s botanical photography.
In April, all of the 15 large-scale sculptures will come together for a dynamic exhibition in the charming courtyard of San Simpliciano, accompanied by a colossal 100m sofa designed by Hammerstrøm to frame the space, upholstered in Kvadrat fabric.