• Q&A: Product Design Can Create an Icon

      Sarah Müllertz is Head of Interior Design at Henning Larsen and the driver behind the company’s Product Design - a discipline very necessary when creating architecture that looks and feel complete, she says, and a forgotten virtue she wants to revitalize.

    • Why does Henning Larsen work with product design?

      We are aiming to revitalize the Danish tradition of designing buildings from the inside out. I believe product design – customizing the inventory for a building – is a huge part of completing the building. Product design is an identity marker for the building and takes a huge part in creating the full experience. I believe that creating complete architecture is about working all through the building, so it is properly round off. From the façade to the spoon in the drawer

      What is complete architecture?

      If something feels wrong in a building, even little things like a handle or doorknob – it affects the perception of the entire building. All details take part in creating the totality. It is a grand assignment to create the architecture for people to live in, so I do not believe we should stop at the shell. That is a little like writing a song without a chorus.

      It is the details people notice. We respond to the tactile experience of a building. We care for the feeling we get when we sit in a chair in a concert hall. We care about how things feel when we touch them. That the table we sit at feels nice, that a doorknob is comfortable. When a product is designed well, we do not notice it, and that is how a building should be – effortless. Then it works.

      You talk about identity in architecture. What does that mean?

      A building needs to offer more than a frame or a shell. It needs to create identity, community, authenticity, and atmosphere. For instance, a workspace building needs to support the company’s core values, and help support the cohesion among employees, so no one doubts where they are and why. Product design can do this. At Nordea’s new headquarters, we have worked exclusively with Nordic materials to secure the connection to the origin of the bank.

      What are the plans for Product Design at Henning Larsen?

      We wish to breathe new life into the very proud Danish product design tradition we as architects are part of. We really believe in the discipline, and every product design we will create will be designed in complete alignment and prolongation of our architecture.

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