Since 2008, The Mindcraft Project has worked to elevate Danish designers and makers by showcasing them to a global audience. It’s a digital platform for explorative and experimental design from Denmark with a considerable international following, led by Copenhagen Design Agency (CDA), featuring the Danish designer profiles to watch through videos, online exhibitions, and interviews. The name highlights what the project is about, merging experimental, innovative, and conceptual design approaches with material knowledge and craftmanship, addressing future challenges and opportunities as well as inspire to new ways of thinking, making, and living.
This month, The Mindcraft Project presents a new online exhibition with experimental design projects by ten of Denmark’s most noteworthy designers and makers. They’re selected with curatorial advice from a Curator Advisory Board with diversified knowledge and insight into the contemporary Danish design scene — David Thulstrup (Studio David Thulstrup), Julius Værnes Iversen (TABLEAU), and Marie-Louise Høstbo (Fritz Hansen).
The platform also features a directory of Danish designers and makers called The Mindcraft Directory. Here you will find a growing overview of the Danish designers and makers that have been curated for The Mindcraft Project throughout the years. The ten designers will subsequently be added permanently to The Mindcraft Directory.
— Our digital format reaches a global audience and presents Danish designers and studios to a very large group of relevant people around the world. Furthermore, our format gives insight into the designers’ creative process and the stories behind the objects with in-depth descriptions, bios and videos. So, on top of showing the excellent design and art pieces, we invite the audience into the minds of the makers, say Anders Kongskov and Kristian Kastoft, co-directors of CDA. They continue:
— The Danish design scene is very strong and vibrant, and it also has a strong heritage. We saw the need for a digital overview of the many contemporary design talents that have emerged in Denmark in recent years. With this new initiative — The Mindcraft Directory — we are now creating this much-needed overview of both young and established Danish designers.
Anne Brandhøj’s sculptural practice is defined by a deep connection to materiality. Large sections of fresh timber are hand felled, lathed and then dried. Each piece is made by hand and exposes the individual characteristic of the wood where knots, cracks, and growth rings become the hero.
The tones and textures of Carl Emil Jacobsen’s sculptural works are heavily influenced by his location on the east coast of the Danish mainland, combining bespoke pigments from local clay and stone with concrete and plaster, resulting in a malleable composite with the ability to form into new shapes and expressions.
Focusing on the joy and excitement experienced through experimentation with building and construction techniques, the work of Copenhagen-based design duo Frederik Gustav transfers these emotions to the user through sensory objects that play with function, composition, and materiality. It shifts across various functions, scales, and contexts, merging design, architecture, and art.
From her studio wedged between the forest and the sea on the Danish island of Fyn, textile designer Iben Høj explores and pushes the limits of knitting techniques through a hands-on process of trial and error. From a starting point of wearable textiles, her body of work has grown in scale and ambition, with small and large artistic expressions that delve into textiles’ relationship with people, space, and light.
From her studio in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district, the work of textile designer and artist Kristine Mandsberg experiments into materials and surfaces come together through spatial decorations, collectable objects, installations, and collaborations with industry that champion colour, pattern and texture. Always with an explorative and experimental approach to form and materiality.
Mixing conceptual links to philosophy and biology with detailed craft and manufacturing techniques, the work of glass artist Lene Bødker explores the unique liveliness of her chosen medium and its inherent connection to nature through her collectable and commissioned objects. Her use of cire perdue (lost wax) technique first mastered by bronze casters centuries ago allows her final forms to translate the fluidity of molten glass once cooled.
Activated through observations of the urban environment and their everyday surroundings, the shared practice of artist Magnus Pettersen and designer Lea Hein aims to twist the perceptions of industrial materials through transformation and interruption. Championing a hands-on approach to form giving, Pettersen & Hein produce each object or surface within their workshop.
Utilising well-known furniture archetypes as his building blocks, the work of Rasmus B. Fex constantly challenges and questions existing methods and structures through objects that sit between art and design. Working from his workshop in Helsingør, his process is almost exclusively hands-on-from sketching to creating dozens of 1:5 scale models, replicated into dozens more full-scale timber mockups for each project.
Endeavouring to tell new stories with centuries-old materials, Sara Martinsen’s design language is developed through detailed experiments performed within her Copenhagen studio — along the way gaining knowledge of each material’s strength, weakness, and visual expression. Solid wood, veneer, plants and plant fibres are weaved, layered, and arranged through visually strong and intriguing compositions.
Creating custom-made and bespoke lighting and chandeliers, Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt’s chosen medium of plexiglass provides her work with a unique interplay of contrasting colour and illumination. While her geometric sensibilities stem from her Danish education, these principles are intertwined with an expression of curiosity and freedom inspired by Italian design.
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