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A world of Scandinavian craftsmanship

By Great Dane Furniture

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It’s not often we get the chance to meet the makers and step onto the factory floor – let alone from halfway around the world!

This exclusive behind-the-scenes tour is your window into the universe of Scandinavian craftsmanship, makers and designers as they share insights into their ideals. See inside the oldest furniture factory in Denmark, Gemla with founder, Benny Hermansson; hear Sofie Refer from Nuura and designer Antrei Hartikainen speak about their connection with Nordic nature and how it influences their design process; learn the complexities of what’s involved in pleating a Le Klint lampshade; and explore a showroom tour by Inoda + Sveje from their design studio in the heart of Milano.

Experience a true showcase of the talent and skill that goes into every piece that is lovingly handmade. In between the video tours, hear from Great Dane founder Anton Assaad as he shares anecdotes and insights alongside Habitus editor Aleesha Callahan.


Antrei Hartikainen

Antrei Hartikainen (b. 1991) is a master cabinetmaker and designer from Finland known for his exquisite works in wood. The award- winning pieces, including functional products and pure art works, achieve heights of sensuality, elegance and craftsmanship that place them with finest examples of modern Nordic carpentry.

Sensuality, elegance and the importance of craftsmanship are emphasized in Antrei Hartikainen’s work, which constantly seeks to challenge and blur the traditional categorizations between functional objects and visual arts. Hartikainen’s sculptural approach can be studied through his organic body of work, which simultaneously highlights the inspiration drawn from his material of choice, wood. Antrei hartikainen has shown his works in numerous solo and group exhibitions all over the world . Antrei have been awarded with prize as a young designer of the year 2018 in Finland and shortlisted as emerging designer of the year 2019 by Dezeen awards.

I have worked extensively with wood design. my aim is to create products and unique pieces which answer to the imperatives of practicality, craftsmanship and the medium itself; a desire to reveal the myriad possibilities of wood provides an enduring impetus to my work.”

Kyoko + Nils

Inoda + Sveje is a design duo comprising Kyoko Inoda, born in Osaka in 1971, and Nils Sveje, born in Denmark in 1969. Inoda studied architectural design at ISAD in Milan. Sveje graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. Sveje later moved to Italy where he worked under Stefano Giovannoni, and then returned to Denmark. While working at the Institute of Product Development (IPU) Sveje joined forces with Inoda and formed Inoda + Sveje in Copenhagen in 2000, before returning their base of operations to Milan in 2003. In addition to furniture and product design, Inoda + Sveje is involved in other fields, such as medical devices and speakers. Inoda + Sveje designed the DC09 chair in 2011, a solid wood chair with a minimalist and sculptural essence, that won them the International Furniture (IF) Gold Award for Furniture Design.

“Chairs Nobody Else Can Make”  is the pillar of our Passion

Jacob Plejdrup

A multicultural life in Denmark, England, Germany and Switzerland has had a decisive influence on Jacob Plejdrup’s design philosophy, since he began his career in the furniture and interior business back in 1991. The culmination came in 2009, when Jacob Plejdrup and his wife Ann Plejdrup founded dk3 to place undivided focus on creating design furniture under the dk3 brand, combining nature’s aesthetic elements with pure and timeless design.

With his designs, Jacob Plejdrup wishes to move the beauty of nature indoor in a minimalistic way, and this design vision was embodied in the dk3_3 table, which was launched in 2009 as one of the first plank tables on the Scandinavian market. The table played a major role in the birth and establishment of dk3, and the design heritage has been maintained and passed on to several other dk3 products since then.

Jacob’s passion for wood is evident in all his works, and he constantly aims to highlight rather than hide the natural characteristics of the tree. To him the natural structure of each individual plank is a kind of treasure making the final piece of furniture unique. He is the designer behind a wide range of dk3 products, such as the TREE TABLE and dk3_3 TABLE series, the LESS IS MORE TABLE, the LOWLIGHT and HIGHLIGHT TABLE and the sideboard GRAND SIDEBOARD. And then he developed the 10th anniversary table TEN TABLE in 2019 in cooperation with Danish designer Christian Troels.

Sofie Refer

Sofie Refer is an internationally awarded Danish lighting designer and rooted in the Scandinavian design tradition she considers respect for nature and the beauty of simplicity as two of the most valuable qualities in her designs. With esteem for the tradition, Sofie likes to challenge the perception and with curiosity and eagerness to explore the riches, generosity and extravagance of environment interprets these in her lighting designs.

“I am truly inspired by light in the Nordic. I strive to balance simplicity and grandeur, and create light that has a pure yet sensuous expression.”

Anton Mannervik + Benny Hermansson

Passing through the beech forests and the small village of Diö by the river Helgeå, you will find Sweden’s oldest furniture manufacturer, Gemla Fabrikers, founded in 1861. You will also encounter a curiously rich history, characterized by inventiveness as well as stubbornness, said to be typical of the region of Småland.

Craftsmen from Bohemia arrived in Diö in the 19th century, bringing their know-how and experience from Thonet’s factories with them. They were the first in Sweden to introduce the art of shaping wood and laid the foundation of this art, which has been developed by Gemla ever since.

Represented in several award-winning interiors, Gemla Furniture is appreciated both for its lightness and comfort. The solid bentwood design, durable construction and quality materials produce a unique and sustainable craft, built to last for generations.

Jørgen Møller

Jørgen Møller is the son of Niels O. Møller, founder of famous Danish furniture company JL Møller. J .L. Møllers Møbelfabrik hand make their furniture in a tiny workshop in the centre of Århus, Denmark, with the ambition to never compromise with the quality.

Møller’s chairs, such as the sculptural No. 55 and No. 71 (both 1951), strongly represent, through the choice of materials and the soft curves, the Scandinavian post-war vision of practical yet well-made design. In 1981, JL Møllers Møbelfabrik was awarded the Dansk MøbelIndustri’s Furniture Prize, with special mention for its “ability to combine the best craft traditions with modern furniture manufacture. Niels Otto Møller designed and produced a formidable number of chairs and his brand became synonymous the world over with good Danish design.

Aleesha Callahan

Aleesha Callahan is the editor of Habitus. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Aleesha seeks out the unique people, projects and products that define the Indo Pacific region. Aleesha was previously the editor of and has written and contributed to various publications and brands in her 10 years in the architecture and design industry, bringing intimate insight to her stories having first trained and practised as an interior designer.

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