Exclusive interview with Rikke Frost about her work, design & her journey

You can name them – the most renowned female designers of Denmark: Nanna Ditzel, Grethe Meyer, and Rikke Frost. In this exclusive interview, I delve into the world of design with Rikke Frost (1st winner of „Danmarks næste klassiker“), an industrial designer based in Denmark. With a career spanning over two decades, Rikke shares insights into her professional journey, design philosophies, and creative process. From her early influences to her current projects, discover how Rikke combines minimalism, magic, and mindfulness to craft timeless designs with a focus on sustainability. Join me as we explore her thoughts on current design trends, the significance of „Dare to dream,“ and her upcoming showcase at 3daysofdesign alongside Carl Hansen & Søn.

Could you tell us about your professional journey as a designer and how you arrived at your current position?

I was trained as an industrial designer at the School of Architecture in Aarhus in 2000. My first job as a designer was with Hammel Furniture, which was a fantastic place to start my career because I was involved in everything from sketching and prototyping at their own factory to the development of marketing materials, including photostyling, POS staff training, and graphic work, as well as fair stand design. After that job, I went to London to work for Heal & Son as a designer/buyer. In 2004, I returned to Denmark to start my own studio.

What inspired you to become a designer, and what aspects of your profession do you find most captivating?

I was introduced to materials and the building process by my father, who was a bricklayer and built the houses we lived in when I was a child. My family also loved antique objects, which I enjoyed studying. I believe this upbringing instilled in me a curiosity and passion for materials, function, and tactility.

What design philosophies or principles guide your work, and how do you implement them in practice?

I run my studio based on a manifesto that revolves around three words: MINIMAL – MAGICAL – MINDFUL. I incorporate these principles from ideation through materialization to storytelling and the launch of the design. I strive to create functional, long-lasting designs with minimal environmental impact. Tactility is underrated but plays a crucial role in understanding materials and their origins. Therefore, I focus on implementing magical moments, tactile experiences, and details that users can explore and reflect upon. I reflect mindfully on human behavior, material usage, and environmental impact.

Could you provide insights into your creative process, from ideation to the final implementation of your designs?

Carl Hansen og søn
©Henning Hjorth

I typically begin with thorough research on the brief, asking many „why“ questions to ensure the justification for creating a new product. I sketch by hand and in 3D simultaneously and create small cardboard models of the concept. I then collaborate with the manufacturer to test details and finalize the design and materials. I like to be involved in the storytelling and marketing of the design to ensure that the important details and design intentions are communicated effectively.

Can you share with us a project that you are particularly proud of or one that has challenged you, and explain why it holds significance for you?

The Sideways sofa that I designed and made for the TV show „Denmark’s Next Classic“ is a piece of furniture that I am particularly proud of. I designed it under significant stress but managed to create something meaningful that embodies many features I value. I appreciate the craftsmanship and skills invested in developing this sofa, and I am grateful for the collaboration with Carl Hansen & Søn on this project.

I find the focus on reduction and materials to be particularly exciting as it forces designers to think more creatively and innovatively. I believe this focus will lead to the emergence of truly exciting designs. I am currently working on a project with Danish design makers under the theme of „reduction,“ which will be exhibited at Orgatec 2024. It is both challenging and interesting to work with minimalism in this context.

How do you personally interpret this year’s theme of 3daysofdesign, „Dare to dream“? What does it mean to you?

To me, „Dare to dream“ means going the extra mile, exploring, experimenting, staying curious, and believing that we can do even better if we work with passion. While we are here now, we have the opportunity and obligation to design for the future.

Can design lovers experience you or your products at 3daysofdesign?

Carl Hansen og Søn
©Henning Hjorth

Together with Carl Hansen & Søn, we are launching a new lounge chair and a table at Bredgade 21-23 during 3daysofdesign.

Stefan Nørd
Stefan Nørdhttp://www.NordicWannabe.com
Skandi-Podcaster, Content Creator & Nordic Pioneer, der ein modernes nordisches Leben führt, sein Zuhause skandinavisch einrichtet und mit viel Leidenschaft über seine Reisen durch Nordeuropa berichtet. 2011 war ich das erste Mal in Norwegen und habe mein Herz an Nordeuropa verloren. Diese Liebe hält nun schon viele Jahre mit Hygge, Einrichtungstipps, Rezepten und vielen Zimtschnecken.

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