Internationally acclaimed Danish designer Rikke Hagen won the prestigious iF Award in 2007 for the lamp Steam for Holmegaard. But her new line of products titled ‘Pipeline’ take her much further than just being one of Denmark’s leading glass designers. Hagen is now merging materials like steel, leather and porcelain into her new products saying, “I am fascinated by how the materials interact and work together . . . as when the smooth and the rough meet, they demonstrate how the difference is in the detail.”

The Pipeline series consists of a teapot, set of bowls, glasses, a milk jug and a decanter. Hagen stresses the importance of products that are relevant and applicable in our daily lives explaining that, “the products of Pipeline are meant for use on a daily basis rather than as objects to be admired from a distance.”

The Pipeline series will continuously evolve and change, but the key inspirations are functionality and sensuality. “To me, functionality is a necessity that makes things work, and be easy going. When you don’t notice the function, and it just ‘falls in’ – that’s when it is most successful. It becomes a habit. But a habit is not all there is to it. There’s so much more. Good design lifts the function from habit to ritual in the respect that you stay alert and aware when talking to the object. When a design has sensuality . . . humour . . . power . . . it ‘talks to our feelings’; and we have to respond to it in the way we actualise it. I really like that.”

There’s a simple yet strong idiom running through the pieces: a beautiful, somewhat cool, Nordic style. And what is Hagen’s personal interpretation of Nordic style? “Well, to me, it’s the basic combination of tight lines, simple form and good craftsmanship. The absence of decoration and shapes cut down to the basic form leave you with focus and affection for the few details. It’s the small variations that make the difference, for example contrasts in light and chilly colours can enhance the simplicity. Nordic style leaves you with the conscious awareness of your surroundings.”

This new line of products has also opened up opportunities for Hagen to come out and play. A place for her to test the boundaries and explore ideas outside of the rules and regulations of most of her other work. When asked why it’s so important for her to ‘play’ in her work she responds, “it’s one of the most important things for a designer to do. To keep on playing. It keeps the curiosity intact. For me, it’s the way to discover new solutions. If I am going down the straight road all the time, I get bored – and occasionally stuck in a dead end. But if I choose to take the ‘Alice in Wonderland track’ I may discover all the fun and spontaneity around me. That makes life much more valuable.”

To gain some of Hagen’s Alice in Wonderland inspiration, read her musings on the ‘Spotted by . . . Normann Copenhagen’ blog.

So get to, and start playing.

This is a post by David Report contributor Kristina Dryza.

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