Normann Copenhagen has just released the full Form range with two chairs - a side or dining chair and a shell chair with raised sides - and a stool with two height options, all with high-quality moulded polypropylene shells in a choice of six colours and either wooden legs or powder-coated steel legs colour matched to the seats. There are also two tables in the collection, one square and the other a generous rectangle - both with curved sides and generous round corners and with wood legs. For a review and appreciation of the design see the post below.
Here, in this post, what interests me is the way that the new collection has been promoted.
For the background of this collection, Normann was established by Jan Andersen and Poul Madsen in 1999. In 2002 they launched their first in-house product and by 2007 this had increased to 38 pieces. In 2005 they moved from their original store in Strandboulevarden in Copenhagen to a new flagship store in a former cinema in Østerbro.
Simon Legald, the designer of the Form collection, graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. He had already completed an internship at Normann and then, on finishing at university, he joined their design studio. The design for the Form chair was apparently started as part of a university project and the whole full range has taken three years to refine and bring to commercial production. The effort involved and the care that has gone into the design and its refinement is clear in the finished designs and is obviously something that the team can be justifiably proud about.
At the northmodern design fair in Copenhagen, in January, Normann not only had a large stand where they exhibited their full range of furniture and household items but they also had a separate and major exhibition on one side of the entrance hall to launch Form. There were information panels explaining the concept, a panel showing the parts of the chair separated out, posters reproducing some of the design drawings and a beautifully produced catalogue.
In the store on Østerbrogade, the long entrance hall has become a display space for the range with clever ideas such as a table top split in two with half sticking out from the wall with two of the legs but the back half turned up through 90 degrees to run up the wall to show the amazing colour. There are also display cases on the walls with the knuckle joints of the metal and plastic covered pieces that fix the legs to the underside of the table … set out like art to emphasise, again quite justifiably, the design as a beautiful piece of engineering.
Again, understandably, visitors can see just how proud the team is of the design but it also shows a very necessary piece of promotion to explain to potential customers just how and exactly why this is good design and why that makes the chairs, stools and tables stand out from the work of close competitors. I have said in several posts that I am concerned that the furniture industry is being forced into the seasonal hype and marketing methods of the fashion industry but the idea of putting the spotlight on a new design that must have required very considerable investment and commitment and bringing to the fore a major young designer is here a necessary step and one that has been done with considerable style and confidence.