EDITORIAL: Anders Engholm, 39, Furniture Designer
Meet Anders Engholm. Furniture Designer. Blacksmith. Boath Entusiast and Winner of the Danish design television contest “Denmark’s Next Classic”. He won with his interpretation of a chair specifically designed to the Aveny-T theatre in Copenhagen – now being produced and sold by Montana. We met him at his houseboat to talk everything from his inspiration to sustainable design and how to live a more liberating life with less.
Minimum: Where do you find inspiration?
I get inspired by the process of solving problems or challenges that have not yet been found that many answers to. In this process, I make sure to ask myself several questions before designing. For example, how can a new chair, make sense when there are already thousands of others? Why could I not sit still as a child? Or why can one sit badly on a chair? The process of improving and refining inspires me to choose the material, surfaces, and tactility. In this way, I focus on bringing function, viability, and design together.
Minimum: What is your understanding of a sustainable design?
It can be said very briefly. A sustainable design is like a long relationship. These are designs you keep liking, even after falling in love. In addition, it is also about quality over quantity. Function in connection with aesthetics. And choices made with both brain and heart. The definition can also be found in the choice of material, but I lean towards the soft definition; that a sustainable design equals a good, long relationship.
Minimum: How do you integrate sustainability into your design?
The chair I won with in Denmark's Next Classic is a good example of how I integrate sustainability into my designs. The chair is born to circularity. The seat and backrest are made of waste plastic, ground into small granules that can be sent back to the grinder at any time. In addition, it is made with visible screws that create an honest design and make it easy for the owner to maintain it instead of discarding it. If something should happen to the back piece, everyone can in a very simple way replace it with a new one. In this way, an honest design is as much sustainability to me as the choice of e.g., recycled materials.
Minimum: In your opinion, what would speed up the change in the interior design industry?
That's an interesting question. I believe that the industry is 100% ready for a sustainable transition, but as long as we continue to buy cheap and fast-produced products, we will slow down the huge potential for the development that is underway. I think we can all benefit from reconsidering our purchasing behavior and even reconsidering the way we decorate our homes for the better.
Minimum: You live on a boat with your family of three. What was your thoughts behind that choice?
Our first thought was related to the freedom we would get by always being able to drop the moorings and sail out. To become a part of our lifestyle one-to-one. Then it was only a month before we found out how liberating it was to be forced to part with a lot of our things. It has definitely put things into perspective and taught us to cherish what we have. Now, our rule is that if we invite something new in, then something must go. It is an insanely great relief to live with fewer and better things. It makes sense in our everyday and in the long run.
Minimum: Three tips on how to live more sustainable?
(1) Buy with your heart. Instead of resorting to the temporary solutions, wait for the "great love" that continues to spark joy. Both when falling in love and in the marriage.
(2) Give new life. Reupholster your sofa. Paint your dresser. Sand your dining table. Extend the life of your furniture by renewing what you already have. You will get surprised by the effect of the change.
(3) Decorate with few, but characteristic things. Invest in the essentials and make sure they have some character. Either in terms of personal significance or physically in its size. It creates identity and sparks joy in the space.