Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I´m 30 years old, work and live in Copenhagen. I recently finished my master thesis as an architect from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture. I´m formerly educated cabinetmaker working for one of the old, traditional cabinetmaking companies in Copenhagen, Rud. Rasmussen, where I was making quality furniture designed by danish architects such as Kaare Klint, Mogens Koch, etc.
I wished to learn the craftsmanship and get to know material and construction before designing myself. I find it rather important to learn from the past and know where to seek inspiration and obtain a solid basic knowledge about ones trade or subject.
During the last few years I gained a large interest for theories such as Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle, which has changed my way of working and thinking and provided me with a larger contentment of my work. I see my former attempts of design and architecture as a learning process and I no more wish to design merely aestetic items. Combining aestetic, function and at the same time considering the whole lifecycle of a product requires a lot more thought and I believe therefore it also brings me a larger satisfaction when I succeed in doing so. For my master thesis I made the production facilities for an ecofriendly pigfarm, which among my fellow student and professors was considered to be a strange topic to work with. I found it rather interesting and challenging.
I have many plans for the future. Working for Architects Without Frontiers, continuing my teaching, working for Red Cross, Danida or other organisations where I get to help people in need.That too brings me great contentment and joy. I see myself as having global citizensship and feel an obligation to share and help others and elsewhere since I have been so lucky to grow up in a peaceful country with lots of resources both materialistic and human.
When did you start designing?
I have always been very interested in nature and have been registering and drawing it since I was very young. I had an early zest for making things and endning up with a final product. Creating brought me great pleasure. Working as a cabinetmaker stimulated my interest for design but at that time it was only about copying and creating furniture made by others. Then I started to study architecture and design and found it rather challenging for my imagination and fantasy come up with ideas frequently. I have my own way of doing things and my hot temper and perfectionism have made me discard thousand of ideas. I remember driving my professors crazy doing that, never being satisfied.
What inspires you?
Nature inspires me a lot. To me nature is the image of perfection. There is no effort in it. It comes natural. The way the shapes fit each other, the colors work together, the construction and the tectonics. Everything is optimized considering aestetic and function. Nature is amazing. To me diversity is also important. I find great inspiration in other cultures, other people and places, therefore I travel a lot. If I didn´t I guess I would die on the inside, that or become very intolerant.
Name some things that you like!
By things I hope you also mean actions, beliefs and so forth, because to me material goods are starting to grow less and less important. Material goods can be rather imprisoning and control your life. I live in a society with great abundance of resources and material goods, this is probably why I feel this way in the first place. There is a great waste in this society and futhermore a great indifference and ingratitude, because we grew used to the idea of it being so. I catch myself in forgetting to enjoy the small things, I simply forget how to live. The only thing that can get my head straight in that matter is hard work, children and animals, a trip in my kayak, drawing and travelling. The best times are usually the ones where I completely forget myself.
Name some things you dislike!
At the moment I have a great aversion against the lack of respect among people, that and the lack of celebrating diversity. Diversity has always brought beauty into the world. I also have a hard time dealing with superficiality, which sadly is prevalent in so many fields among those architecture and design. Superficial sustainability for example is really at its peak at the moment and I must say, a project doesn´t become sustainable merely by adding the color green to the poster.
Who are your favorite designers?
Among my favorite designers are architects such as Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl. Mostly because the quality of their work is impeccable. To me the design process today is too short and the result is seldom worked out thoroughly and thought through. Everything takes time, requires many mochups and a lot of thought in order to obtain perfection. I rather prefer to have one item of perfection and impeccable quality than several items of poor quality. Quality instead of quantity.
What does your apartment look like?
I enjoy the tasks of every day life even more if they are carried out by using items that combine aestetic and function. I enjoy objects that reflect the designers time, love and thought. To me creating small tableaus and keeping each room in one color brings a certain calmness to the interior. I like to keep things simple. My apartment shows to a great extent the fact that I have been working as a cabinetmaker and enjoy the quality of good cabinetmaking and detailing in wood. I try to fill my life with aestetic, beauty, scandinavian simplicity and functionality, which shows in the way I decorate. I chose to get an apartment in the old part of Copenhagen with colorful houses, canals and lots of creative people and diversity. A place that helps me remember to enjoy the small things and how to live.
A selection of her work:
For more info about Gry, visit her website.