[ADVERTISEMENT – THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH MOEBE, BUT ALL WORDS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.]
For my latest ‘chat with’ I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with not just one inspiring individual, but three.
Founded almost a decade ago by architects Martin de Neergard Christensen, Nicholas Oldroyd and cabinet maker Anders Thams, Danish design studio MOEBE is part of a growing number of Nordic names known for consciously creating furniture and lifestyle objects made with purpose.
Driven by a passion for honesty, simplification, and a need for ‘less’, all MOEBE designs are developed in their workshop on the island of Amager in Copenhagen, and it was here I recently caught up with them.
Here’s what they had to tell me:
Shall we start by setting the scene? Can you tell me little bit about yourselves, your backgrounds and how you met?
Martin: Yes of course, we are Martin de Neergard Christensen, Nicholas Oldroyd and Anders Thams, the founders of Copenhagen-based design studio MOEBE.
Nick: Martin and I studied together at the school of Architecture in Aarhus before crossing paths with Anders who was studying at the cabinetmakers school in Copenhagen. At that time the three of us were working on our own separate projects, but as we got to know each other better we realised that we shared a certain perspective around design and a vision of what we wanted to do as designers.
Anders: It felt like a perfect fit, so we joined forces and formed MOEBE in 2014.
What was the inspiration behind MOEBE and what makes your Danish design studio different?
Martin: All three of us wanted to create a furniture brand with a clear vision about making things the right way. As designers, we have a responsibility to not only put more things out there, but to make good products that last. Products people really connect with and will enjoy spending time with for a very long time.
Nick: MOEBE is all about simple, well-made designs and clever construction. All our designs are created in-house and we love spending time developing these initial thoughts and sketches into real, tangible products.
At MOEBE you are guided by the “Philosophy of Less”, can you explain how this thinking came about and how it is applied to your products?
Anders: If you take a moment to look around you very quickly realise just how much ‘stuff’ we are surrounded by. At MOEBE we believe what we really need is less; less noise, less clutter, less waste. What we need is room to breathe and to appreciate the small everyday moments that give meaning to our lives.
Martin: When we design a product, we begin by rethinking its essence, what is the core function, and how can we remove the unnecessary. As a result, we put a lot of our efforts into materials, details and construction to make sure each design element has a function and a purpose.
Nick: While we also want our designs to be beautiful at MOEBE we do not add unnecessary or merely decorative elements, encouraging people to enjoy life with fewer distractions, so that they can focus on the things that really matter.
Balancing a sustainable brand with a successful business can be tricky, how is this reflected in the way MOEBE products are designed and made?
Anders: Sustainability is such a broad area to navigate and something that touches every part of our business. We had to find a framework for us to operate in, which led to our six design principles that inform everything we do.
Martin: For example, all our products are constructed from individual parts, which means they can be shipped flat-packed to cut down transport volume and reduce our shipping footprint. We design with repairability in mind and offer spare parts for all our designs. We believe it should always be easier to repair than replace a product, and when we say that our designs are built to last a lifetime, we really mean it.
Can you tell us a little about what you’re currently working on, and what we can look forward to seeing next from MOEBE?
Nick: We are always busy in our workshop and there are quite a few things in the making. We put all our ideas and prototypes under our own scrutiny, to make sure no half-baked ideas or details that could have been done better become a part of the permanent MOEBE collection.
Anders: That being said, we will be extending our dining room and permanent furniture collection in the next few months. It might be the biggest MOEBE product so far. Next to that, we will be launching some smaller everyday design items throughout the year. And there will be a little anniversary to celebrate, too.
Thanks again to Nick, Anders and Martin for taking the time to talk with me and I look forward to visiting their studio for myself very soon.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To find out more about what we’ve chatted about, visit the MOEBE website.
Images 1, 3, 4 and 5 by Nicola Capper, all other images courtesy of MOEBE.
MOEBE kindly gifted products in return for this post.
Enjoyed reading this post? Then read my chat with Lasse Lund Lauridsen founder of Form & Refine.