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October 5, 2013
This year’s Das Haus – imm Cologne’s dreamy event featuring one international designer’s visionary house installation – will be brought to life by Danish Design Goddess Louise Campbell, whose intelligent and appealingly feminine creations have lead a movement of the formal structuralism of Danish design into the 21st century.
louise campbell interior

The maquette that Campbell is working from is a giant storage unit simulacrum, where a series of boxes come to life with their uses, which are meant to be flexible but still rational.

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louise campbell interior

“In my free time I have been exploring what I call The Love Project, an inquiry into how yin meets yang – not just in personal relationships but in qualities and values of spaces. Some of these ideas have leaked into Das Haus, where emotion comes together with function,” says Campbell.

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louise campbell model

Building on her sensual flare for lighting design, Campbell’s vision for Das Haus’s gentle light will include string lighting in collaboration with Kvadrat, who will tailor print textile envelopes for the lamps. “There will be giant chains of light,” beams Campbell.

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louise campbell landscape

“By emphasizing the low-tech element, I am inviting house users and house guests to play,” says Campbell, “Manual cooking, saws and wrenches, surfaces to work and measure on – this house may not contain the most gorgeous Italian vase but it has every tool imaginable, even antique Japanese tools – your neighbors will want to come to borrow them all and fix everything under the sun”. Rather than being old-fashioned, Campbell insists this approach is a survival strategy for the digital age.

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louise campbell sketch

The working color palettes are hues of pinks but Campbell is musing about introducing blues and indigos.

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louise campbell mood board

From this high activity area, you move to “the little bedrooms”, which is really a large room full of beds where curtains can be drawn to separate one from the other. “I love a good sofa but there is nothing more inviting in the world than a bed with soft accessories and duvets in soft linens and upholstery. In this house you can fall asleep anywhere, and you can invite 40 for dinner and they can all sleep over,” says Campbell.

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louise campbell action

When the installation is up at imm Cologne, actors using tools, cooking and casually playing music will circulate through the space to emphasize the ambiance of Campbell’s Das Haus vision. “They will make noises and smells, and remind us that in the 21st century we are revising the idea of organization: organized love, organized relationships and the organized rigid interior habits that keep us from an exploration of what lays beyond.” Namely: voluptuousness and the DIY know-how essential for preservation beyond cyberspace.

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louise campbell interior

The maquette that Campbell is working from is a giant storage unit simulacrum, where a series of boxes come to life with their uses, which are meant to be flexible but still rational.

Campbell’s house, entitled “0-100” in reference to both the myriad applications of measurements and the extremes of emotional and energetic commitment, draws inspirations from poetic sources. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Sherril Jaffe’s Scars Make Your Body More Interesting, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and The Cure’s Wild Mood Swings are credited as her compass-makers.

Conceived as a large open space where interior and exterior boundaries are blurred; doors open into beds, vegetation enters and exists through openings – and where the hard perfections of exact measurements; a wall of tools, a table that measures everything; collapse into a coterie of beds where softness reigns supreme: this no-tech house glorifies sensuality and all that is handmade. It also offers the promise of companionship – even “dinner parties with sleepovers for 40 friends”. Minimalist but very inviting, not a free-love throwback but a futuristic contrapposto to digital nativism, Das Haus by Louise Campbell is a visionary oasis of body-conscious pragmatism-meets-pleasure.

Das Haus will be erected in the middle of Pure Village in Hall 2.2 at imm Cologne in January 2014.

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