Today I have the pleasure to share with you an interview I did with Nadia Lassen. Nadia is the great granddaughter of Mogens Lassen, who is the designer of among others the famous Kubus candleholder. Nadia is the co-founder of by Lassen, who owns the rights to Mogens Lassens and his brother Flemming Lassen designs, and lucky for us bring these great designs out to the world.
I have myself been collecting by Lassen designs over a few years know, and therefore find it interesting to know more about the brand.
What gave you the idea to start your own company and get into interior design?
I was studying economy and marketing at Copenhagen Business School and I had to write my finishing bachelor project. The project ended up to be about the Kubus candleholders, which was at that time only known in Denmark by enthusiastic design lovers. The project was very interesting and it showed a great potential for the collection. My uncle, Søren Lassen, which at that time was producing the candleholders also found the project very interesting and he asked if we should open a company together, which ended up being by Lassen. Since the start we have developed the company into a brand instead of just a company selling design candleholders.
Line copper by Lassen in my kitchen
Are all of by Lassen’s products based on Mogens and Flemmings design or are you also designing new products?
We also have a design team here at by Lassen, so in addition to the designs of Mogens and Flemming Lassen we also design our own products here at by Lassen. Our new launched product Stropp is for example a by Lassen product. Furthermore our design team is also bringing the old Mogens and Flemming Lassen designs into production. Often we have to make a lot of interpretation in an original design as for example type of wood, technique, fabric etc. which is not often specified in the original design.
How is a typical workday for you, if there is one?
A typical work day at the office is where I have a lot of meetings, often internal meetings with our employees. I addition to the managing work I am in charge of our communication and design team, and lots of decisions have to be made. Therefore I also have to answer all my emails in the evening, because I usually don’t have the time while I am in the office.
My very first by Lassen product – Kubus 4 white
What is your favorite by Lassen product? And do you have a favorite design icon, not by by Lassen?
I have to say two products, I can’t choose between our storage collection Frame and the Kubus candleholder collection. They are both iconic and classic and can be used in so many different settings. I also have several of other design icons not from by Lassen, which I really like and one of the products are the iconic Vipp pendal bin. I love the function, craftsmanship and story behind it.
What in your view is a good design?
Good design is in my opinion a product which applies to your emotions. Either you like it or you don’t. In other words the design will demand an attitude from you. Furthermore I believe that a good design is also a design where function and design are combined. A beautiful chair is not a good design to me if it’s not good at sitting at.
Our new launch Stropp is for example a good design to me because design and function are very well connected. Stropp can be used in so many ways but the design is also nice and decorative when it is not being used.
Loving these Frame sideboards we have in the kitchen for extra storage.
Have you ever wondered why so many great designers come from Denmark? Why do you think it is like this?
I believe that we have an extraordinary design tradition in Denmark, and many Danes had just grown up in a design environment. Therefore the design understanding comes very natural to us, and we like to keep us updated on all new designs as well. In addition to this orientation against design we also have great schools which educate talented young designers. If we are looking back at the designers from my great grandfathers’ time we are really lucky to have all these great designers from the same period of time. Many of them knew each other and where friends and I think that they inspired each other and also helped each other. The ‘old’ designers like Arne Jacobsen, the Lassen brothers, Hans J. Wegner and so on they are still very, very important for the Danish design tradition and also the people we are known for abroad. Even though they are not here anymore, foreigners have that impression that Denmark is a design imperium, and that is very much thanks to the generation before us.
Anything new and exciting by Lassen has planned to launch in the near future that you can share with my readers?
We are launching products at least two times a year, in spring and at autumn. I can’t tell you the exact products we are launching but I am very proud of the new collection which includes wallpaper and other accessories.
Thank you so much for your time, Nadia. Looking forward seeing by Lassen´s new collection.
Images: Nina Holst