History of Normann Copenhagen
Normann Copenhagen – our story
Throughout the years, many new and fascinating Normann Copenhagen products have seen the light of day, including items from designers with roots in Denmark’s creative growth layer. The launch of these products has consolidated Normann Copenhagen’s position as a venturous partner in the world of design. Since its founding, Normann Copenhagen has collaborated with craftsmen, Danish Craft, Danish designers like Ole Jensen, Herbert Krenchel and Rikke Hagen and international names such as Marcel Wanders and Odoardo Fioravanti.
Jan Andersen comments: “We at Normann Copenhagen feel closely associated with the creative growth layer in Denmark and the rest of the world. We are well attuned to what is happening and have good experience of working with many different types of designers and craftsmen. We really love the creative process in the development of new products and are not afraid to take chances. This willingness to take risks is reflected in our current product range. Normann Copenhagen has achieved its national and international breakthrough with products that only a few people had predicted would be successful such as the collapsible kitchen funnel or Claydies grass vases.”
The story of Normann Copenhagen begins in 1999, when Poul Madsen and Jan Andersen teamed up to start the company. Initially run as a design store on Strandboulevarden in Copenhagen, the turning point came in autumn 2001 when a product line was launched under the company’s own name: Normann Copenhagen.
In early 2002 the first Normann Copenhagen product, the Norm 69 lamp designed by Simon Karkov was introduced. Later the same year, further three products entered the market: the Washing-up bowl and brush in rubber, designed by Ole Jensen, the Swing Vase by Britt Bonnesen and Ole Jensen’s Dustpan and Broom. Today, Normann Copenhagen exports to 83 different countries and is well represented in Denmark, USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Sweden and Germany.
The products introduced by Normann Copenhagen in 2002 gained much international attention and won instant recognition in the world of design. In 2002, the Washing-up bowl and brush won the prestigious DESIGNPLUS award – an award that during the next years is awarded to Normann Copenhagen five times. In 2007, three products are awarded the international reddot design award and since the first product launches in 2002 Normann Copenhagen has been awarded with over 40 awards including iF Design Award China, DesignPlus, interior innovation award cologne and Good Design Award.
In 2004, Normann Copenhagen was chosen to take part in the Danish Design Project and sponsored products for the interior design of the reopened Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA. Today, the Washing-up bowl by Ole Jensen is used as a wine cooler at the restaurant at MoMA and several products are sold at their design store, for instance Herb Stand by Jakob Heiberg and Rikke Hagen’s characteristic Cognac glasses.
To understand the products, it is necessary to understand what Normann Copenhagen stands for. Normann Copenhagen represents a special way of looking at design. Like putting on a pair of glasses and seeing the world in a particular way. Through these glasses, products are developed such as Boje Estermann’s collapsible kitchen funnel, Ole Jensen’s washing-up bowl and brush, Gry Fagers tableware Mormor and Britt Kornum’s Norm 03 organic lamp.
Poul Madsen explains: “When Jan and I look at new designs for Normann Copenhagen, we take a very intuitive approach to the products. A picture can say much more than words and if we are both struck by what we see, we are interested. We like products that have an original idea and a simple design, although we do not tie ourselves to a particular line. For Normann Copenhagen, brand mobility is an important value. We like to get involved in new projects if we see the right draft design. That is why we also get involved in projects like Time to design, which is a new design award for yet unknown young talents world wide. For us, the important thing is that the projects we get involved in bring something new into the world of design.”
Normann Copenhagen also challenges conventional thinking online and launched an inspirational weblog in 2007, which is quite simply all about design. In July 2008, a new website was launched and visitors to the site will encounter a visualisation of the Normann Copenhagen brand through sound, images and film.
In the heart of Copenhagen, Normann Copenhagen opened a 1700 m2 Flagship Store in 2005. In an old cinema, a unique store universe was created offering a wide selection of lifestyle products and fashion from high-end brands. The element of enjoyment from the old cinema has been retained and exhibitions and events provide the platform for design experiences that are beyond the ordinary.
In 2009, Normann Copenhagen expanded the brand with a new collection under the name New Danish Modern. The line emerges from the Danish design tradition, where quality and attention to detail are given high priority. New Danish Modern is designed by some of Denmark's best designers and produced exclusively in Denmark; respecting the idea of forms in design and craftsmanship. Once again, Normann Copenhagen sets new standards and combines tradition and innovation in a line with the best of proud handcraft from the past together with a modern expression of the present. So far, New Danish Modern comprises of the following Danish designers: Ole Jensen, Rikke Hagen, Jesper Koefod Thomsen, Søren Ulrik Petersen, Kasper Salto, Claydies & Thomas Bentzen, among others.
© Normann Copenhagen
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Philosophy of Normann Copenhagen
All designs are selected jointly by Poul Madsen and Jan Andersen. Over the years, Jan and Poul have shown that they have a good knack of finding the right products that break with habitual thinking within design. The Grass vase, the Familia kitchen series, the re-launch of the Krenit bowl and salad set designed by Herbert Krenchel and Ole Søndergaard’s wooden Plane are examples of products whose designs have set a new standard within the world of design.
© Normann Copenhagen