Each year during Milan Design Week we look forward to checking in on brands whose work we continuously admire. Normann Copenhagen is always an inspiring stop, and during our visit to Salone del Mobile in 2013, newcomer Simon Legald's work was of particular appeal. This year, while browsing the latest furniture and design objects created in the brand's signature style—one essentially summarized as unconventional designs done in traditional materials—we had the opportunity to speak briefly with the young Danish designer. With products ranging from leather lounge chairs and blown glass lamps to salt and pepper shakers gracing the Legald name, we were curious to learn more about the Legald's varied work and his approach to designing with myriad materials and uses in mind.
Do you prefer doing one type of design over the other?
It's nice doing different things, instead of just doing only furnishings; it's nice to have a break sometimes. [But] I don't really have a preference for what kind of product it is. The interesting thing as a designer is to be able to do all sorts of shapes, products and materials. Because each time you do a different project—if it's a candleholder or a sofa, whatever—you learn something that can benefit another project. For example, the Folk candleholder is produced in cast aluminum, which is also the material I use for the bracket on the [Form] table. It's kind of inspiring something new, which is why I prefer doing all sorts of products on small and big scale.
How do you decide on what your next product will be? Is it entirely up to you or does Normann Copenhagen influence the decision?
It is a combination. Sometimes they give a short brief of something they think—like the [Era] lounge chairs—and then you have to figure out the rest. The idea from the start was it should be able to have more combinations than just being one single working form.
And what about the material selection process?
It depends of course on the product. But it starts with some idea, then it expands. Often you have like 50 solutions and then you pick the solution that seems most relevant. I think that's one of the nice things about doing design—you're able to try different solutions and different forms, and see what works for you.
Visit Normann Copenhagen for a full look at Simon Legald's designs and to view the new home furnishing collection unveiled during Milan Design Week 2014.
Portrait and lamp photos by Graham Hiemstra, all others courtesy of Normann Copenhagen