Mit einem praktischen Ansatz entwerfen Kirsten und Jacob Möbelstücke für ihr Interior-Label OK Design. Ehrlich, bescheiden und funktional ist dabei der Design-Ansatz, mit dem das Duo Stühle, Tische und Wohnaccessoires wie Magazinständer, Regalsysteme und Blumentöpfe fertigt. Es geht weniger darum künstlerische Designobjekte zu schaffen, sondern Möbel zu entwerfen, die den Alltag erleichtern, gleichzeitig aber Freude beim Ansehen bereiten. Das gelingt durch die Kombination von skandinavischem Minimalismus gepaart mit mexikanischen Einflüssen und verleiht den Möbeln eine Design-Identität, die typisch für OK Design ist. Mitgründerin Kirsten hat mit uns u.a. über die Entstehungsgeschichte des Labels, was bisher ihre größten Hürden waren und warum Metall ihr Lieblingsmaterial ist, gesprochen.
What is the background and concept of your brand?
It all started in Mexico 10 years ago. Jacob, my Danish partner, had a past as entrepreneur in Mexico where he founded the first bicycle courier company in Mexico City. We bought a Volkswagen Beetle and drove around the country to look for opportunities to make a living in Mexico. On this trip we found this amazing woven furniture which later developed into the Acapulco Chair.
What does sustainable design mean to you?
Sustainable design means that it lasts long and it doesn’t contain a lot of damaging substances. I believe that if you invest in a beautiful design object, in a great quality you will keep it forever and maybe pass it on to your descendants as I inherited Danish design objects from my grandparents.
The PVC we use for our Acapulco chair-series is free of damaging substances. It is not some cheap, toxic, crap which damages your health and you throw out shortly after because it stopped working.
Your designs are influenced by traditional woven furniture from Mexico. What else is typically OK Design?
The simplicity, the silhouette, the playfulness. Our design objects are not flashy but honest and modest designs and, as such, in line with the Danish, modernist, design tradition. The Mexican influence adds colour, “sangre” and joy to our design-identity.
Where do you produce your furniture?
We mainly produce our products in Europe: Poland, Italy, Denmark. A bit in Mexico, and we are currently starting up a production of wicker and ceramics in Vietnam.
What is the heart of your collection?
The String series. Starting with the Acapulco chair, then the Condesa Chair, the Bam Bam tables, The Centro stool and the Acapulco Bar stool and the latest addition: The Centro Chair. They all combine perfectly which is good for project sales.
You are selling your products in more than 30 countries worldwide. What was the most challenging time while establishing OK Design?
Finding great, reliable manufacturers was by far the most challenging part. We are also facing the problem that a lot of big companies copy our designs. This is something most small design companies face. We develop the designs, launch them and shortly after we see them in large corporate stores. This is their business strategy.
You like the combination of metal with terrazzo, canvas and cord elements. What makes these materials so powerful to you?
The metal is a very strong, durable and versatile material but on its own it can be a bit cold and hard. By combining it with other materials you can add texture and softness to the design. The terrazzo is a very cool material. It is made of marble and granite chips which creates the most beautiful colour play. By combining the heavy stone material with the light metal structures, as in the case of the Confetti Trolley, you can create this elegant tension we really love. As for the PVC cord. It is and amazing, durable and flexible material, and then it’s a designers dream because it can be made in the exact colour you like.
How do you start your design process and where do you find inspiration?
I always start with the manufacturer and the material. I have learned from experience that in order to succeed you need to design for a specific manufacturer in a specific material. Usually I fall in love with a potential material and once I have a qualified manufacturer I start exploring the material and to find new and interesting ways to use or combine the material.