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Elle Decor Italia

Naja Utzon Popov for the Milano Design Week

The Danish designer draws the Woodlines carpets collection for Carl Hansen & Søn brand

Danish sculptor, textile designer and ceramicist, Naja Utzon Popov was grown up in an artists' family, always breathing the fascination of creative process. “I've always loved realizing objects with my own hands”, she tells. We interviewed her because of her new set of rugs, Woodlines. Signed for the Danish furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Søn, the rugs were presented at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Now they expect to be launched at the Design Week in Milano.

You have recently launched a new set of rugs for Carl Hansen & Søn at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. How did your creative process work?
It was quite an introverted creative process of studying all the elements which make Carl Hansen & Søn special. My interpretation was that the design had to be simple, elegant, enhancing the furniture it had to converse with.

What are the main features of this collection?
I've realized the rug has to bring the room together, without overpowering the furniture. So I came up with abstractions of the lines I found in studying the wood in the Carl Hansen & Søn workshop.

What was the brief you got from Carl Hansen & Søn y and how did you translate it into reality?
I didn't exactly receive a brief as such, it was more several conversations I had with Knud Erik Hansen (CEO of Carl Hansen & Son *): we tried to find a common language of expression, to represent both our worlds in a way that could bring all the elements together as a whole. So my main task was to understand the craftsmanship behind the Carl Hansen & Søn furniture and to understand that Knud Erik wanted me to start in the core of the company, the workshop, where the beautiful planks of wood are brought in and over time transformed into elegant pieces of furniture.

You are a sculptor and a ceramicist too. What are the works you are proudest of?
I think the sculpture I'm proudest of is still my first large scale sculpture for Rosendahl headquarters: it stands far taller than the others I have done, up to 4m tall. It was my first project after graduating and very much a test to myself whether I could actually create the scale I dreamed up in my head. It was definetely the most challenging!

You come from a artists' family; have you always dreamed of becoming a designer?
I don't think I've always dreamed to be a designer, it was more a natural progression. I have built an interest for design and art because of my family background, so it was very natural for me to approach an education where I had to use my hands. I don't mind what the material is: it can be textile, ceramics, glass, metal, it is all about the creative challenge more than the material itself.

What will you be presenting at the Salone del Mobile 2016?
The Woodlines collection will be exposed for an international audience in Milan at Carl Hansen & Søn’s stand at Hall 05 – Stand D04. I look forward to getting the feedback and seeing many hours of work come to life.

What products/trends you expect to see in Milano?
I expect to be inspired by other designers, hopefully there will be some innovative new designs that will move me.



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by Marzia Nicolini / 17 March 2016


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