I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Danish furniture company Carl Hansen & Son. Carl Hansen & Son is probably most well-known for its relationship with Danish architect Hans J. Wegner.
This year at the Salone del Mobile, the company is relaunching Wegner sofas called the CH162 and CH163, as well as his Opala Lamp, and adding a shelving system by Mogens Koch, which was part of a recent acquisition of 140-year old Danish furniture workshop Rud Rasmussen by Carl Hansen & Son. Mr Hansen noted that Rud Rasmussen continues to handcraft furniture in its shop in the center of Copenhagen, which is very rare.
I was very much drawn to Mr Hansen’s passion. The passion lies within the desire to produce quality pieces of furniture that can be passed down for generations. Mr Hansen realizes this by following a few basic principles, which include using wood from sustainable forests, no use of artificial materials, and treating carpenters well and with respect. He also explained how they only used Danish wood for its humidity/climate to get the best wood possible.
It is absolutely possible that there could be similar-looking pieces that are at a fraction of the cost; however, the quality is most likely compromised. One of those processes is the drying of the wood. If the wood is not properly dried, the wood may expand and crack over time. Ask about the story behind the furniture next time you walk into a store. What can they tell you about the people behind each piece?
In addition to these pieces, tomorrow Carl Hansen & Son will reveal the first chair prototype designed by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The piece is designed by Ando as his tribute to Wegner. This is Ando’s first furniture project. We know that Ando’s material is concrete, so it will be interesting to see what he is able to do with wood, which is Wegner’s material.