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. The prime aim of the new Danish Arts Foundation is to promote the arts in Denmark and Danish art abroad. The new Danish Arts Foundation consists of twelve specialist committees and a coordinating board of directors.
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.
Ditte Hammerstrøm said that it’s the Haute Couture of Danish design noting that it is not about making functional furniture, but the unique use of different materials. 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.
Elsewhere Carl Emil Jacobsen travelled to the Hanklit cliff on the Danish island of Mors to source his materials. His mainly works in malleable materials such as concrete, fibre-reinforced concrete and plaster, typically in combination with bespoke pigments that he produces from stone and clay from the Danish landscape. His process is driven by his curiosity about form and material qualities. His process often proceeds along multiple parallel paths involving drawings/sketches, material experiments, revised crafts techniques aimed at creating material sensations. This experimental process often leads to new ideas that in turn inspire additional experiments.
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.