Designer Q&A: Strand & Hvass and Norgarrd for Ocee Design

During Clerkenwell Design week, we had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Ocee showroom and chat with a few of their designers. In particular we looked at the latest additions to the Four®Family collection.

First we spoke with Niels Hvass and Christina Strand who are accomplished danish designers. Their designs are simple and well-balanced very typical and deeply rooted to Scandinavian design and culture. Hvass and Strand collaborated with Ocee and designed some gorgeous chairs, Four®Me, Four®Cast and Four®SureStrand  Hvass BnW

How do environmental issues guide your design?

We care about the environment a lot and we think as the designers, we have an important role to play. We always try to make long-lasting design and quality furniture, where the shape and materials are designed to last a long time. By designing well thought out furniture, using the best materials we believe our products have the longest life-cycle possible.

The new Four®Me chair is made of bioplast with wooden fibres which make the surface and the material long lasting and environmentally friendly. By using wooden fibre, we use less oil in the production.

What makes your designs individual, how do you put across your personal design style?

We always try to add something iconic into our designs. All our chairs in the Four®Family are designed with a V shape back. The V gives comfort to the back, strength to the chairs and importantly, it gives the chairs an identity and makes them easy to recognise.Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 09.11.43 webHow have you seen the Industry change over the past 5 years, and how do you see it changing in the future?

We see many different trends at this point. But a cozier direction and a more organic shape is entering our workplace. We also find the Scandinavian design look is becoming more and more popular at the moment. There is also a shift in focus, not just on cost of furnishings any more but quality.

Can you talk us through your latest designs through inspiration, concept and the outcome?

Our latest collection is based on the Four®Me chair, the direction is more casual and cosy way of being in our workspace. It is legal to be relaxed! (Even at work!)

We still design long-life furniture at the right price level, we make high quality products, but save money at the production by designing well though-out solutions while never compromising on materials or looks. Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 09.11.11 web

We also managed to speak with another design contributor to the Four®Family. Anders Norgaard who designed the Four®Us collection of modular furniture and the Four®Real Flake table for Ocee Design. Norgaard work is also rooted in the Scandinavian traditions, and although focusing on functionality he includes small details that achieve a refined and beautiful simplicity.Anders_1000x484 (002) web

What is your design philosophy and process? 

At Norgaard design we focus on the aesthetics and functionality within design. By combining these values, we are capable of creating design which easily can be integrated in lifestyle and usage situations, while not compromising on the expression of details and the functionality of the product.

Our roots are in the tradition of Scandinavian design  where these ideals match up perfectly. With our extended insight within the production, we work with all aspects of the product design – not just aesthetics. Thereby we  can deliver competitive prices within a wide range of products. We believe in a close relationships, and see our customers as partners and we believe that close collaborations lead to the best results.

What makes your designs individual, how do you put across your personal design style?

As a rule, we take the starting point in customers’ design DNA. The storytelling, the individual and the details arise through the task and the process – Depending on, what function the product has, in which usage situations it is to be used and the needs it creates, and what visual expression is appropriate or we want to achieve. Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 09.11.26 webHow have you seen the industry change over the past 5 years and how do you see it changing in the future? 

Merger between the two markets – B2B / Contract and domestic. There is a tendency that ‘everyone’ will enter the contract market. Products must be sold in both places. The home is pulled into the workplace; the office, the institution and the classrooms. More domestic frameworks are created, more informal, safe and with a relaxed atmosphere.

Can you talk us through your latest collections from inspiration and concept through to the outcome?

The Four®Us is a simple concept that can do many things and is adaptable to different places and situations. The concept offers different experiences depending on what composition is made with it.

It was essential that the sofa was welcoming and inviting. We wanted to maintain the stringent lines that often characterise furniture in the contract market, but still achieve visual friendliness by using large radii and rounded corners.

We were very pleased with the result. We have a really good cooperation with the Four®Family and we feel that we have created a product line that they can be proud of and competitive – On design, price and functionality.Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 09.11.34 web

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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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