Few rising stars in the world of Danish interior design are currently generating as much early buzz as Kasper Thorup (1987), a furniture designer barely out of the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen. Thorup, whose love of marrying experimental designs with classic Scandinavian functionality dates back to a childhood spent fashioning inventions out of everything from Lego to washed-ashore beach treasures, earned his share of attention, thanks to his playfully elegant approach to transforming traditionally rough materials such as iron and concrete into unexpected one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.
And with the designer’s collection of Blackpowder tables – whose processed iron tabletops display darkly beautiful fluid patterns – Thorup Copenhagen is on the road to becoming a household name in the elusive borderland between art and design.
Founder & Designer at Thorup Copenhagen
What do you do, and where are you from?
I aim to create contemporary design which is made to last, showcasing a new perspective on Scandinavian design. I try to challenge the norm through new materials and shapes, by redefining materials like iron, concrete and brass, and rendering techniques and forms into elegant and honest expressions.
When working in my design studio, most important to me are honesty and quality. It is important to be true to the materials and to never compromise on quality, which is why I have chosen to produce everything locally in Copenhagen. Producing in my studio gives me the ability to always be in close contact with what I design.
What inspires you within your field or in your daily work?
My inspiration is derived from the tension between art and design, by fusing experimental designs with distinctive Scandinavian minimalism. My work is characterized by enduring aesthetics and led by intelligible clean lines. I like experimenting with materials and shapes – the materials ought to tell a story.
Is there a connection between your work, and where you’re from?
Most definitely. I have lived in Copenhagen my whole life, and I have a particular affinity for the city. My passion for design and raw materials are inspired by the shapes, colour compositions and edgy materials of the city. My approach to transforming traditionally rough materials such as iron and concrete into unexpected pieces of furniture is reflected in the environments I move in.
I find the distinctive and the constantly changing nature and weather in the North a source of inspiration. I’m inspired by the tension that occurs when opposites meet and it is this realm – where beauty meets beast – that the real expression occurs.
What is your driving force?
I want to seduce, create joy and contentment and change people through my design. I aim in my design to create functional objects with special material value. I reach that goal when people understand the tactile story in my design.
Can you describe your design practice from conceptualization to the finished product?
My process always starts with an illusion and a wish to pass a feeling onto others. I try to put it into words and work with the compositions of materials. I find inspiration in nature and the industrial environment and play with how contrasting forms can break each other, and how something raw and industrial can stand beside something beautiful and refined.
Can you describe your perfect day?
A perfect day for me, is when I have a breakthrough in a design process or meet with a client who wants to buy my furniture – both confirm the joy of creating things.