In 2005, Danish company Architectmade launched with the goal of bringing to light products designed by architects. The company has since begun producing a handful of items from designers of the likes of Poul Kjærholm, Jørn Utzon, Finn Johl, and Hans Bølling, working with the artists, their families, or their foundations to secure the rights to issue or reissue the designs. Here we take a tour through Architectmade's collection.
The Optiminist and Pessimist are playful characters designed by architect Hans Bølling. Bølling was born in 1931 in Denmark and later graduated as an architect from the Royal Danish Art Academy. These 4.5-inch-tall, teak toys are meant to remind us about the necessary balance of both characteristics—but more than anything they are just too adorable not to enjoy.
Architect Finn Juhl designed predominantly in the 1940s and 50s and created the TurningTray in 1956 to match the furniture in his house. The curvature of the teak eliminates the need for handles and the two sides—one laminated in black and the other in either red, white, light green, or pale blue—let it transition from day to evening use.
Jørn Utzon was most famous for designing the Sydney Opera House but also created a number of product designs. Architectmade discovered the 1949 drawings for these glasses, named Spring, in museum archives in Denmark. The glasses are stackable and can also be tipped on their side for cognac. When one drinks from them, the experience is meant to replicate that of drinking from a spring, hence the name.
The Duck and Ducklings are another Hans Bølling design. Bølling, now in his 80s, recently told Architectmade head of sales Shari Rana that the Ducklings don't have eyes where the Ducks do because "a child doesn't see the world in the same way as an adult."
Jørgen Høj's Wooden Trays are made of wood from 100- to 150-year-old maple trees and dried and soap-treated to create a beautiful, light finish. Høj designed the trays in 1953 and more than a half-century later they continue to be timeless in their design.
Poul Kjærholm originally designed this granite bowl as a 550-pound ashtray for the city hall in Fredericia, Denmark. This smaller version, which weighs 6.5 pounds, can be used for holding everything from fruit to business cards to jewelry.
Peter Karpf's modular candleholder can be arranged in what seems like infinite combinations. The U-shape Gemini holds two candles and stands elegantly on its own or in a group, as shown here.
Kristian Vedel's Child's Chair accommodates a youngster as he or she grows with its adjustable seat heights. It can also be rolled onto its side to become a child's play thing.
Vedel also designed the Birds, a series of child, parent, and grandparents birds. Users can point the heads in any direction to change each bird's expression. Architectmade is also launching Oscar, a wooden dog by Hans Bølling, and the Circle Bowl by Finn Juhl this year. For more, visit architectmade.com.
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