With our Danish road trip just a matter of days away, excitement levels in the Nordic Notes household are reaching fever pitch.
By the end of the week, my family and I will be exploring the picturesque city of Århus for the very first time, before heading to Billund for all things Lego, and finally Copenhagen for a few days of fun filled excitement in the capital.
So what better way to prepare, as well as to stop myself stressing too much about the distinctive lack of ‘summer’ weather, than by chatting to inspirational Danish textile designer and founder of the amazing StrikAholic, Dorte Nieldziella.
Here’s what she had to tell me:
Hi Dorte, please can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Dorte Niedziella and I grew up in Århus, the second largest city in Denmark. I now live in Holte near Copenhagen with my husband and three young children.
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with knitting and music. It always fascinates me how so many amazing things can be made using basically a thread and a pair of sticks.
Even though I am a classically trained musician my need to convert artistic ideas into physical products was to strong and in 2007 StrikAholic was born.
Where did the inspiration for StrikAholic come from?
It was while on a trip to New York that I became deeply fascinated by the many, often unnoticed, graphic designs found on everyday American items such as bus tickets.
When I returned home to Denmark I started exploring this in more detail, wondering how I could make other people love all these amazing things as much as me.
Also, I wanted to bring more colours into the traditionally minimalistic nordic home and add a twist of humour.
How would you describe the distinctive StrikAholic style?
StrikAholic is characterised by unique, cosy, humorous knitted products interpreted in a new Nordic style.
Our aesthetics clearly reference Scandinavian nature. Whether its our range of cushions, blankets, bedspreads or scarves, both the colours and high-quality materials we use are selected with a focus on nature and all designs are produced in Europe taking good care of the environment.
My family and I will be visiting Århus for the first time later this week, what are your recommendations for a fellow design lover?
Århus is a very nice city with lots going on right now. It’s also small and cosy with everything you need within walking distance.
I highly recommend visiting ‘Your Rainbow Panorama’ at the top of ARoS, the modern art museum. It was created by the Danish—Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and is a circular walkway made from glass in all the colours of the spectrum. You get a fantastic 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings from here.
Another very nice spot is ‘The Infinite Bridge’ in Århus Bay. The is a very elegant design with a breathtaking view. It’s a circle shaped, wooden construction which spans from the beach and out into the water.
To explore creative spaces I would suggest you visit Godsbanen. It’s a centre for cultural production with open workshops, studios, project rooms etc. It also has a lovely affordable café and restaurant too.
The ‘Latin Quarter’ is the older part of the city. Here you’ll find cobbled streets, small cosy shops, great coffee and restaurants. While in the area called ‘Frederiksbjerg’ there is more of a focus on local and hand crafted food and design.
What’s next for StrikAholic, what exciting plans or new designs can we look forward to?
A few month ago I had the pleasure of visiting Tate Modern and saw the fantastic Anni Albers exhibition. The Bauhaus has traditionally been seen a huge influence on Nordic design and I find her work so inspiring.
As we celebrate the centenary of this influential art school you might see references to this in StrikAholic’s Autumn Winter 2019 collection which we will be launching in September.
Thank you so much to Dorte for chatting with me. To find out more and to shop the collection please visit the StrikAholic website.
All images courtesy of StrikAholic.