Glocal Furniture Hero: BoConcept

Glocal Furniture Hero: BoConcept

 by DOMINIC LUTYENS

Long before the term ‘glocal’ had even been coined, Danish manufacturer BoConcept was already tailoring its designs to a wide variety of markets – supplying furniture worldwide while staying true to local sensibilities.

Like many of BoConcept’s furniture designs, its Bermuda footstool is informal and flexible: it’s ideal as a casual seat, footrest or coffee table

Well-crafted, beautifully honed design is part of Denmark’s lifeblood – something tacitly acknowledged, not made a big fuss of. Since the early 20th century, the country has excelled at exquisite joinery executed by gifted cabinet-makers. In the 1920s, influenced mainly by furniture designer Kaare Klint, Danish design turned a corner, espousing a clean-lined functionalism fused with the warmth of traditional cabinet-making.

Two heirs to this approach were Jens Ærthøj and Tage Mølholm, who co-founded BoConcept in 1952. Their mission? To bring high quality, affordable Danish design to a wider audience. In 1962, the business-savvy duo moved from their original workshop to a 1,300-square-metre premises in Herning, Jutland – the company’s headquarters to this day. In the 1970s, the firm began exporting its furniture. Long before the term ‘glocal’ was coined, BoConcept tailored its designs to different markets. It opened its first shop in Paris in 1993 and now has brand stores in over 65 countries.

Bed Furniture Design
Hidden talents: BoConcept’s Lugano bed is more than just good looking. It’s elegance and comfort are matched by an equally pragmatic and practical side

BoConcept firmly believes that all of its designs complement each other, collectively creating a comfortable, inviting space. Its showrooms offer a personal interior design service. Moreover, the brand collaborates with architects and designers, and is building up its contract furniture division. BoConcept attended Orgatec in 2018 and made it into its yearbook of best designs.

One long-standing collaborator with the brand, Morten Georgsen, who has designed BoConcept storage units since 1992, reflects on the brand’s evolution: ‘Back then, BoConcept manufactured everything in-house, so, as designers, we were limited by what the company’s machinery produced. But our ideas were innovative and successful. We created well-received wall systems and tables.’ Georgsen values BoConcept’s thoughtful, responsible concern for sustainable, considered design: ‘We share a belief that you shouldn’t create new designs for the sake of it. Every new addition should have a purpose and improve existing designs.’

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