Carl Hansen & Son, an exclusive interview with the designer Anker Bak Carl Hansen & Son, an exclusive interview with the designer Anker Bak

Carl Hansen & Son, an exclusive interview with the designer Anker Bak

Written by Redazione |

13 October 2017

In 1949 Holger Hansen, the then owner of Carl Hansen & Son, spotted the talent of a young and still unknown designer: that designer was Hans J. Wegner, destined to become one of the most famous names in the history of Dutch design thanks to his iconic creations. Today, the enlightened mind is Knud Erik Hansen, third-generation head of the company and enthusiast promoter of the collaboration with Anker Bak, a young and emerging creative talent who designed the Rocking Nest Chair, an innovative project that combines wood, leather and steel with comfort and functionality. We met Bak in Carl Hansen & Son showroom in Milan, to talk about experimentation and tradition, inspiration and reference models, as well as present and future projects.

You belong to the group of new designers working for an iconic furniture brand such as Carl Hansen & Son. Where does this collaboration come from? Is there something new in the air?

“After having visited the Carl Hansen & Son factory during an event dedicated to designers, I sent an email to Knud Erik Hansen (owner and third-generation CEO of Carl Hansen & Son) to present him the Rocking Nest Chair. He answered me on the same day and asked me if a stable prototype was already available and when I said yes he decided to have a look at it. After that first meeting, he decided to produce the Rocking Nest Chair.

This was the beginning of our collaboration; and this is something new, as Carl Hansen & Son normally works with famous present and past designers.”


What is the main inspiration of your design?

“The idea of the Rocking Nest Chair came up to my mind a few years ago: at that time my sister was pregnant and she was living in a tiny house with a big old rocking chair in the kitchen. She needed a contemplative and comfortable place to relax with his new-born as well as something that can perfectly adapt to small spaces. The Rocking Nest Chair is a small but extremely comfortable, functional chair that easily folds with just a few simple movements.”


Danish furniture tradition is an important legacy. Are you influenced by it? Which is the relationship between tradition and innovation in your design creations? 

“Hans J. Wegner was the best possible master and the greatest source of inspiration, with his rigorous and outstanding craftsmanship. Like him, I am deeply inspired by the Shaker design, a style based on simplicity, cleanliness and minimalism.”


How important is the link between consumer and society for you?

“I am sure there is a sort of “meaningful” design: objects must make a difference in people’s life, meeting their real needs. Quality materials, outstanding craftsmanship, and intelligent functionality are the bases of a design project, which requires a practical and emotional approach. I think that every project should be based on a specific need: you have a problem and you try to solve it by means of a product, which has a meaning and becomes something worth to be designed.”


Any goals for the future? 

I have established a really satisfying relationship with Carl Hansen & Son: we share the same passion and respect for craftsmanship and natural materials and we have managed to build a creative collaboration and dialogue. I hope I will work again with Carl Hansen & Son in the future to produce functional and useful products.”


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