“For me design always starts with the material. I need to have all the materials in my hand before I can feel if it is something I can work with”.
Everything about this new range just screams (or rather calmly states) stylish, understated Scandi-chic.
For award-winning Danish designer, Cecilie Manz, the creative process only starts once she has all the materials in her hand. An almost foreign concept in the digital age, where architects, product designers and even interior stylists use digital mediums to plan their designs well before they even think about handling the materials, Cecilie’s approach is refreshingly uncomplicated. Indeed, she is well known for her unfussy, elegant designs, and for this particular project, there was no brief.
Hers is a liberating fashion; a kind of design freestyle (“No hands, Mom”); designing sans frontières. This latest collection, entitled miniscule is the result of a series of experimental workshops and creative dialogue between Cecilie and Danish manufacturer, Fritz Hansen.
Fritz Hansen point out that this range is designed for ‘an informal setting’ and that everything about the collection, from the upholstery detail, to its curvilinear form of the chair shell, to the actual name itself, are all deliberately intended for the informal environment, be that a lounge or private living space, these pieces are not loud occasional creation, they represent sophisticated timeless design, the kind for which the Danish have become renowned. ‘Discrete simplicity makes a clear statement’.
Inspired in part by the natural shades and textures of the coast, Cecilie’s choice of fabrics reflects these natural colours, and the almost nautical form of the chairs, too seek capture that vision of the coastline.
The seat of the shell is upholstered; hand stitched in a light weight, durable textile that features a fine leather detail following the shell’s contours. Supporting this cymbiform shell is a contemporary plastic base frame. A contrasting yet complimentary material, the straight lines on the base are deliberately softened to recall nature’s erosion of stones on the beach, and the colour of the frame is equally reminiscent of coastal stones.
The upholstery of the outer shell is also available in two tones of grey, a colour that fascinates Cecilie because it is the only colour able to absorb all others. The inner shell is upholstered in a choice of colours ranging from rust orange and ochre, to a dark ultramarine blue, all echoing Cecilie’s shoreline palette.
A matching lounge table is also available in the same flint-coloured base, and a top of either Oregon Pine or white compact laminate. The miniscule series is tremendously versatile, a quality afforded to many of Cecilie Manz collections, which means it can comfortably furnish a variety of interior styles (just so long as they stick to the informal theme).
minuscule will be launched at the Republic of Fritz Hansen showrooms in Milan this week, at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
One of Denmark’s leading designers, whose Mikado table has already made it to MoMA permanent collection, she has exhibited with Issey Miyake in Tokyo, at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, and she has an impressively varied repertoire, that includes everything from jewellery to sculpture. Keen to explore conceptual thinking, form and function in her designs, she set up her own studio in Copenhagen, Manz Lab in 1998, after some time studying and working in Helsinki.