Q&A with Icons of Denmark

We caught up with interior designer and founder of Studio Haslund, Kristina Haslund, and owner of Icons of Denmark Jesper Jensen, on plans for their Clerkenwell showroom plus how the Danes are inspiring the world of design.

Q: What should visitors expect when they enter the refurbished showroom during the festival?

KH: We’re really excited about the concept for the soon to be refurbished showroom – it will have a new, fresh feel. The challenge for me has been to create a different look and feel to the space, not just through the new collection of pieces, but working on ideas to enhance the spatial decor also.

What makes the Icons of Denmark’s showroom unique is that it is also a working environment. The pieces are always being used in different scenarios, so they have to work well in an individual set up, but also as a collective, complimenting one another. We are showing fantastic new products as well as the existing pieces in different ways. Furniture will be shown in new colours and textures that I have picked out together with Sandra from Icons of Denmark.

There is a sculptural feel to the furniture and a refined industrial edge in certain areas. Some Icons of Denmark pieces remain playful and exemplify modern Danish design, but there is also a tendency towards a refined, chic type of look through other pieces of furniture and finishes. We are showcasing a lot more Montana this year, a modular system with endless possibilities. Also GRID will be displayed in clever new ways. We wanted to present the trademark Kvadrat finishes, but are also working with newly launched designs to show something different and innovative.

Finally, the actual space will have a new colour palette in-line with the trends and inspirations we picked up from visiting Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Maison & Objet, and various galleries and exhibitions at the beginning of the year.

Q: How do you think Danish design is influencing the design world?  

KH: I think more and more people in the design world are looking to Denmark for inspiration. There is a sense of understanding that the quality and craftsmanship the Danes concur with in their approach on design is now, more than ever before, so important. There seems to be an increased knowledge in the design world for the legends of the mid 20th century who are an integral part of Danish upbringing.

Q: Why do you think CDW is such a popular festival?

KH: This is my favourite London festival and I think all the designers and architects I know feel the same. There is no rush, as it is spread over a 3-day period, making it possible to relax into it and really embrace what is being shown. The Clerkenwell area is so special with a lot of history to it, and it’s spread over a large enough yet cosy enough area. I also love that so much of it is outside!

Q: What’s in store from Icons of Denmark for 2017?

JJ: Our collaboration with the Danish producers are growing stronger each year. We have some really exciting new projects going on during 2017 in collaboration with some of our most trusted Danish manufactures and designers. Apart from constantly pushing the boundaries for our existing product designs, we will be launching two more furniture pieces under our own Icons of Denmark label at this year’s CDW – and more to come later this year for Designjunction.

Montana was the first brand we started to work with when Icons of Denmark was founded in 2009, and since I used to work for Montana before moving to London, this is one of the brands that lies very close to my heart. This year Montana is expanding its presence in our showroom significantly. With our new Montana display, we’ll be telling the story of the system and its many applications, and at the same time Kristina has done a great job merging the colour palettes with the rest of our collection.

Fredericia is one of the brands in our portfolio that has evolved significantly in recent years. We started our collaboration with Fredericia based on the Pato chair in 2013 which has been one of our favourite ‘must haves’ ever since. For CDW 2016, we expanded our collaboration further with the Swoon lounge chair by Space Copenhagen, which has taken the office and hospitality market by storm, so this year we will add yet another Frederica Icon to our collection: The Haiku High back sofa by Gamfratesi.