We’ve had a talk with Kasper Thorup. A man with a passion for design and creating. He has made his own line of beautiful tables and will make a lot of other furniture in the future. He is working on a chair at the moment that should match his series of tables. You can see more of his work on his site byThorup. Read the interview about his thoughts on the design proces behind the artistic furniture.
What was your inspiration for art direction?
My inspiration derives from field of tension between art and design – the excitement by finding the beautiful in the overlooked and at times repulsive. I love to challenge the idea of materials and give life to what is usually neglected. In my B&W1 concrete wall project, I worked with decayed walls and in my newest BlackPOWDER table collection I challenge the dead and cold feel of steel. Opposites are probably my biggest inspiration and is often the very base and beginning of my design process. My design is lead by the intelligible and clean. What is hidden or being excluded in a design is noise to me and therefore not clean. Simplicity is a keyword in my design works.
Have you always been creative minded?
I have always loved to create and work with materials since I was very young. I became aware very early that I observed things that others didn’t. I saw interesting shapes, colour compositions and materials everywhere. The beautiful is often found in the neglected. You need to take time to see what is right in front of you.
To shape and create things has always been my need to express myself. I personally gain a lot in the design process and definitely when people choose to surround themselves by it as well. Just as frustrating it can be during the creative process, just as great is the feeling when it succeeds. To feel the pull from materials and need to explore and challenge often comes with certain complications and challenges, but often gives a lot back as well.
I have many ideas of how a shape or exploration of materials should be, but it rarely ends up how I expected it to. A design process is like a journey – you can have an idea or wish about where to end, but you cannot foresee who and what you will meet on your way – that’s what has always been driving and is still the reason for how I can remain seated when I get an idea.
Why make furniture of steel? Why not any kind of other materials?
Steel is a very interesting material to me. It’s honest and true to its nature when you work with static furniture. It makes it possible to work with very thin dimensions and let the shape be the strength of the design. It makes it intelligible and clean.
What is your source of inspiration?
My inspiration is built on my curiosity for the neglected. In my design process I use my curiosity for materials and aspiration for the clean look as to opposites to reach the perfect combination.
The encounter of different expressions of materials and shapes drives my curiosity, but it is a very delicate balance as well. I often start with many materials and strive to find 3 materials or colours that can create a beautiful tension without obstructing each other.
How do you approach making a new series of furniture?
A series as my BlackPOWDER Table Collection is most often not planned. I challenge the design in its expression and in this case I wanted to find out if the surface would work in larger dimensions. At the moment I am working on a chair that has obvious references from the BlackPOWDER Desk and Dining Table. Only time will show whether the chair has potential to become other types of chairs as well.
How is the process making one piece?
From the moment I get my inspiration to the final design is complete takes comprehensive considerations and many experiments. In my design process I often have periods, where I don’t know which direction it leads me. As I am very organised and perfectionistic, it can be very frustrating to me. I have learned to relax during those periods of the process now and is often where I get my biggest breakthroughs.
It’s important to me to remain in the experimenting design process as long as possible. To make conclusions to fast or taking to large steps will make you miss important decisions along the way.
My shaping part of the design process is dominated by the materials. I often switch quickly between pencil and materials and I make experiments continuously. A piece of furniture is not only created by the desk, I need to feel it. Models of all possible materials often stack up when I work. The models help me to get the volume and material of an idea, so that I don’t spend to much time romanticising an idea. 3D is an excellent tool as well, but it does unfortunately not give the same sense of feeling as may be needed in the early phases.