by Emma Moore

FURNITURE DESIGN WEEK: Find out what long-term BoConcept collaborator Morten Georgsen knows about designing for contract settings. (Spoiler: it’s a lot.)

Morten Georgsen runs his own design studio, but has been closely involved in the design direction of BoConcept over the past 30 years, for whom he has created many furniture pieces

Morten Georgsen, the Danish product designer who has made Valencia his home for the last 20 years, likes being his own boss. But it hasn’t stopped him having an extraordinarily enduring relationship with BoConcept, with whom he has fed the world’s hunger for Danish minimalism for over 30 years.

Comparing the partnership to a marriage, he says it is successful because they share the same philosophy, and always ‘work together’. Georgsen’s taste for pared-back design took shape in childhood when he read interior design magazines and studied ads for Bang & Olufsen. In his 20s, he found himself working for the Danish tech company’s legendary designer, David Lewis, whom he credits with teaching him the importance of balancing beauty and consumer needs. ‘Function should support aesthetics and aesthetics should support function,’ he says. ‘A beautiful design is in danger of not getting out there if the value of marketing is not understood. It’s an attitude that has also driven BoConcept’s success. ‘To quote Don Draper – Keep it simple but significant.’

Georgsen’s portfolio for BoConcept includes a number of storage systems and tables. Pictured here is the Atlanta system with coordinated seating

Designs such as his Granada table and Como shelving have certainly been significant in defining the brand of high-functioning minimalism that BoConcept has disseminated to homes globally over the past three decades. And lately, he has been integral to the transition into designing for the business to business market.

‘Designing for contract was not such a big leap, in fact’ he says. ‘There are very few things that need to change since modern work habits don’t require offices to look like an office. We want an office to look like a home and a home to look like an office – and sometimes a hotel room, with high headboards and a chair in the corner of the room.’ To fit the office environment, he quips, he just made sure his shelving intervals accommodated A4 files.

Georgsen’s designs pieces to work for both the home and a modern office environment. Seating, such as his Modena sofa design, can be made in durable fabrics to fit more commercial settings

When creating for contract, however, things need to be more durable. Sofa fabric is harder and thicker. Georgsen has developed the modular office system Copenhagen and has introduced ceramic for use in table and desk tops ‘It’s not polluting, is extremely strong, and doesn’t stain or scratch,’ he says ‘We have also made tables that can go up and down. But if I talk about storage to my team now… they just want a place to put their cactus.’


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