Interview with Simon Legald, designer
In Copenhagen, Simon Legald pursues a creative career where design is taken from his surroundings. Loyal to his beliefs in “updated traditions”, he comes back to his inspirations, creations and his collaboration with Normann Copenhagen.
Presently, you are based in Copenhagen. How do you perceive the creation there, particularly about design ?
SIMON LEGALD : Three words : simplicity, functionalism and traditions… I don’t think about the term “Danish Design” when I am doing a project, but like most people, I’m a projection of my surroundings. So of course it’s natural for me to seek towards the “Danish feeling”. I like Copenhagen a lot, it is very small compared to many other capitols. Buildings are low, creating a more relax and less busy atmosphere...
How would you consider the main identity of your creations ?
SIMON LEGALD : My starting point is often looking into the function and archetype of the product and then work my way towards something new but recognizable. Sometimes the material is a starting point for the product; and other times it is the product itself. I would call it the identity of my creations for “updated traditions”.
Can you explain the dialogue between craftsmanship and industry in your work ?
SIMON LEGALD : I think dialogue is always a key thing in design : being able to understand and discuss the production and design with both the producing company and the manufacture, only makes the design better. [...] I like that products have both something from the industrial industry, as well as something crafted. Industrial aspect can offers a standardized and unified expression, where the craftsmanship can provide a more diverse and soft feeling to a product.
Please, talk about your collaboration with Normann Copenhagen. How did it start ?
SIMON LEGALD : I started working with Normann Copenhagen about around 2011. I showed some projects I had done, which they liked. Sumo pouf was my very first design in production for Normann Copenhagen.
Today, it's a close collaboration where I don't have to sacrifice anything from my original design. When I begin to design a product I often have a few ideas about colors and names, and these are often the ones we end up choosing as well. Having a good dialog with the manufacturer is something that I value highly. It helps me to get close to different production technics, which can optimize the process a lot.
Do you notice any trends in contemporary design ?
SIMON LEGALD : Raw materials… As seen over the last few years, marble and copper have been very popular. I think there will be more raw materials showing up in design, other metals, different stone types, etc.
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