Menu has consistently worked with makers across the world but most recently, they’ve launched the Nepal Projects, in which they’ve worked directly with woman artisans from small Nepali communities to produce a collection of Menu-designed products. The opportunities that the project has provided for these women have allowed them to practice their craft with results that have enabled them to provide for their families and to send their children to school. Scroll further down to see how it came to fruition and the exquisite products that have been born as a result.
Menu strongly believes in making sure that design matters, and that most importantly, it should be cultivated in a manner that improves lives. Whether that’s in the way something is produced or how it’s used in daily life, they seek to create solutions and opportunities that make a difference. When their Director Bjarne Hansen first imagined starting the project, he decided to work with Danish aid organization Danida, which pointed him in the direction of the Nepali people with a hopeful goal of helping put an end to the trafficking of women and girls. When he started visiting communities there, he was immediately stunned by how skilled the women were at their crafts.
True to Menu's ideals, each piece from the collection is crafted with an acute attention to detail and a clean, modern perspective. All of the materials used are sourced from the area and the packaging and labeling is produced locally.
One of the main aspects that makes Menu unique, is that they work with some of the world’s best designers, and collaborate with them to help them bring their visions to life, while sticking to their Scandinavian standard of "soft-minimalism." For the Nepal Projects, Creative Director Jonas Bjerre Poulsen chose to work with four game-changing design studios including Norm Architects, Note Design Studio, A Hint of Neon, and Afteroom. Each of the designers happily visited Nepal to meet the craftspeople and to see what their capabilities included. They quickly figured out ways of working hands-on together that would fuse their modern aesthetic with local production traditions.