Morten Husum Nielsen is a young Danish designer currently working towards an MA
in Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His Dumbo Chair will
feature in #TheConranShopEdit for London Design Festival, so we decided to learn a
little more about Morten (and his coffee addiction).
Firstly, a quickfire round – get to know Morten in 60 seconds…
Town or country?
Would you prefer a magazine subscription or a DVD box set?
Champagne & caviar or coconut water & a super-food salad?
Champagne & caviar
Dawn or dusk?
What's your addiction?
Would you rather have the power to travel back in time or see the future?
See the future
Best invention of all time?
And now to delve a little deeper…
A prototype of Morten's Dumbo Chair will be featured in-store as part of #TheConranShopEdit for London Design Festival
How did you start out in design?
As far back as I can remember I have always had the urge to execute my ideas and create things. I have always known that I would create something – once it food, another time it was buildings, but finally I decided to study furniture design. I think I chose furniture design because of the scale. It is easy to grasp a piece of furniture compared to understanding a building, that also means that one must be conscious of every detail to create a good piece of design.
What has been the biggest influence on your work?
The innovation, technology and design lessons in high school have had great impact on the way I perform my design process today. I have become very focused on developing highly original ideas which challenge both material and technology.
How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure I have a particular style, but I think it would be some sort of functionalism.
Do you have a design routine?
I like to start with a material and let the material properties guide me to design language. I am always in search of original solutions, therefore I seek inspiration in new materials and production technologies. I also like to challenge old materials and use them in innovative ways in terms of both form and function.
What does great design mean to you?
Take advantage of current technologies, and it’s interesting to look at functionality and sustainability.
How important is the idea of functionality in your work?
I think functionality is one of the most important aspects of a product. In my work, I try to meet the functional needs with innovative solutions which often become the basic idea of my projects.
You’ve achieved so much whilst studying, what has been the highlight of your career so far?
I was nominated for the HAY Talent Award in 2014. I was invited to the Formland trade fair in Herning where HAY and Formland had built a small village in the middle of the fair, for all the nominees. It was a great experience which created many friendships with talented designers from around the world. The Academy nominated me for the Grethe Jalk prize in 2014.
What are your career aspirations for after you graduate?
I would like to continue working with my design studio. I would also like to produce some of my projects myself, I think it will give me a better understanding of how to design a perfect product.
Your Dumbo Chair will be showcased in #TheConranShopEdit during London Design Festival – could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this piece?
The main idea behind Dumbo is the double curved membrane, creating a comfortable flexible backrest. In the terms of the material, I have tried to gain as much comfort as possible. Most rattan furniture is known for having a poor comfort, so I decided to challenge the material and attempt to increase the comfort by only using rattan.
What will you be visiting during your trip to London for the festival?
I have never visited the festival before, but I’m definitely looking forward to visiting The Conran Shop and Tent London.
What kind of music do you listen to while you work?
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, King Krule, Tame Impala, Toro Y Moi, Nick Cave, C.V.Jørgensen.
What, if anything, do you collect?
I collect coffee-brewing equipment.
If money were no object, what would you buy from The Conran Shop?
The Danish modernists are greats role model to me - I think I would buy a CH07 in the iconic red, or a Swan in natural leather.