with thanks to PP Møbler ......
This is an important and an angry statement by Arne Jacobsen and it suggests that by the 1930s he had become frustrated with the growing popularity for what he appears to see as a diluted and superficial approach to functionalism in architecture and the design of interiors . He is concerned, that Funkis is more concerned with style and fashion than rational architecture and did not reflect his own interest in the radical exploitation of new materials and new methods of construction.
In February 2014 the Danish Government set out a policy for architecture in Denmark in a well-illustrated publication with the title Putting people first. This is available on line in English and is important because it helps the visitor and architects and designers from other countries to understand why there is such a broad appreciation of good architecture in the country and why so much value is placed on an imaginative approach to the use and development of public space.
It is not a vague government promise of something that might or might not be done in the future but seems to reinforce and codify an attitude to the built environment in Denmark that has evolved and developed over many decades if not, in fact, over many centuries and it indicates a social and political context without which good architecture and good design could not be so strong or so important.
In the introduction is the crucial statement that:
“Danish architecture and design on all scales has helped shape our welfare society into a form that is characterized by humanism. The architecture reflects our democratic and transparent society. It binds us together and gives us an identity, both in local communities and nationally.”
Den Ny Bølge i Dansk Arkitektur, Khristoffer Lindhardt Weiss & Kjeld Vindum, Arkitektens Forlag (2012) - interview with Bjarke Ingels on page 46
Earlier this month I posted a short quote from Jonathan Ive talking about the design process. The film from Fritz Hansen I posted yesterday about the professional skills and effort needed to bring back into production the Drop Chair reminded me of another comment from Ive in that same interview with Time Magazine.
Clearly, the team from Fritz Hansen were driven by enthusiasm and conviction and by the professional challenge of this project and would probably only go as far as to claim that it was hard work and not actually painful but that does not diminish the importance of the point and a point that I have tried to emphasise several times in this blog: it is important for designers and manufacturers to explain to consumers the process of design and its importance … both creative or aesthetic design and technical or product design. Ultimately the quality of materials and the quality of production should be fairly obvious once the item is on display in the shop but the meticulous process of production design is less tangible and less obviously justified, to the buyer, looking at the price tag.
Ive was talking about copies of ideas or a specific design by rival companies undercutting the retail price and that does not apply to the Drop Chair where a company is reproducing it’s own earlier designs but if the Drop Chair is a success, and I am sure it will be, then without doubt cheaper imitations or variations will appear.
At least the film from Fritz Hansen goes a long way towards explaining why bringing back into production pieces from a back catalogue are not necessarily a cheap nor an easy option.