Busk+Hertzog QA

An Interview with Flemming Busk and Stephan Hertzog of Busk+Hertzog—on Havn, process and letting go of good ideas

 

 

  VISION           

WHAT WAS YOUR VISION FOR HAVN?

HERTZOG:
We wanted to create a piece of furniture that created a space within the space so, whenever you sat in it, you immediately felt that you had your own sense of privacy.

BUSK:
We wanted this product to be very inviting and homey, almost like creating a little nest.

HERTZOG:
The furniture has to work in whatever setting it’s placed. It may sound obvious, but for a lot of people, when they design a lounge sofa or chair they only design it considering the front view. But often we experience furniture from all angles, especially lounge furniture used in public settings. We see furniture from above, from behind and from the sides, so from wherever you view it, there’s something to discover.

 

 

  STARTING POINT           

WHERE DO YOU START WHEN DESIGNING A PRODUCT LIKE HAVN?

BUSK:
We don’t start out with an idea and say well, this a beautiful shape. We don’t do that. We always go in and ask what is the function of this piece of furniture, where is it going to be used and what kind of story do we want to tell with this product? When Stephan and I are working we brainstorm. Stephan comes up with some ideas. I come up with some ideas. And we simply discuss them. It’s like a game of ping pong. Sometimes we have to throw everything away and start again, but eventually we get there.

HERTZOG:
The basic shape of Havn was something that we came up with during lunch at a museum in Chicago. Using the program from the museum, we started folding paper into the back shape of the chair. That was the starting point for the concept. Then, we eventually sat down next to each other and started drawing directly on the computer. We try to put everything in perspective, at scale, trying to imagine how every part and detail of the product can be reproduced.

 

 

  FOCUS           

WHEN DESIGNING A PRODUCT LIKE HAVN, HOW DO YOU FIND THE SPACE TO FOCUS ON YOUR WORK?

BUSK:
I can focus anywhere, it doesn’t matter. I can be at the train station, I can be on an airplane, I can be at home—I don’t need that kind of personal space. I go into my own little bubble. It’s not a physical space I need. I go inside to a personal space within myself.

HERTZOG:
When you immerse yourself in product design, it’s a very consuming process. You have to think in 3D, which is quite challenging for your brain because you’re imagining things in your head that don’t exist yet. That’s a time when I prefer to be in a homey, private, quiet setting, where I’m not disturbed. Where I can take my shoes off, and whenever I need it, can step outside with a cup of coffee and get some fresh air.

 

 

  ADVICE           

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO ASPIRING DESIGNERS?

HERTZOG:
Kill your darlings. You shouldn’t be so obsessed by an idea. If the idea doesn’t work you have to come up with a new idea even though you’re very attached to the old one. You can perhaps use that idea at a later point when the circumstances are different, but in the end, when you design furniture it’s because you have to serve some kind of purpose.

 

 

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