Q&A

Maria Bruun dreams of creating something that will last beyond her lifetime

The goal for designer Maria Bruun is always to develop designs and furniture with aesthetic consideration for time and place that contribute to more than merely function. 

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Credits:
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Q&A

Maria Bruun dreams of creating something that will last beyond her lifetime

The goal for designer Maria Bruun is always to develop designs and furniture with aesthetic consideration for time and place that contribute to more than merely function. 

Designer Maria Bruun works with furniture, interiors and exhibitions at the junction between the artistic and commercial, insisting that one does not exclude the other. Maria Bruun has won several awards including the Wegner Prize in 2022 and the prestigious Danish Finn Juhl Prize in 2021. 

During 3daysofdesign you can experience Maria Bruuns design as part the exhibitions at Fredericia and Pholc. 

What’s your dream?

Design is an ubiquitous element in everyday life, both for the general consumer and for a creator of design. The daily alternation between design as ‘function’ and as ‘ambition’ is the starting point for everything I create. Design is a rhythm, an iteration, and a process of constant change. But it is also material impact and the ability to create real and lasting design – most important of all is that design manifests itself from thought to concrete action.

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Design is curiosity, respect, and care, that at the same time pushes the boundaries of how we understand our space and the objects we surround ourselves with. The goal is always to develop designs and furniture with aesthetic consideration for time and place that contribute to more than merely function. 

The users are inextricably linked to the designed objects, like everyday scenography, as design becomes part of the individual's understanding of itself. Design raises the questions: Who are you in relation to your surroundings? How does the form and material relate to your mind and body? How do you fit into the whole?

I represent contemporary Danish design in this very moment which is why I dream of contributing to the definition of what constitutes Danish design in the future – what will make our extensive heritage and tradition sustainable for the next fifty or hundred years.

How do you dream of contributing to the world?

The dream for me is to create works and furniture that extend beyond my time. For me, design is a lifelong project, where the ambition is always to address and reconcile two completely universal human needs. That means creating objects that are not only useful but also meaningful. I see consumers being aware and informed, with high demands for the objects they surround themselves with. They want products with longevity, both in terms of materials and design. This also speaks to the sustainability of both materials and design quality.

When we speak about furniture, wood, manufacturing, and sustainability, we initially have to think about the full circle of life for the products we create. From the amount of trimmed wood, the maximum exploitation of the material, the broad spectrum of types of wood, presenting new wood species to consumers, local production, sustainable packaging, the impact of freight, use and reuse, repair and maintenance, deconstruction, and decomposition, reforestation, etc.

It is also important that the idea of sustainability is represented in the piece when you design. It could be through flexible functionality, where one creates multiple opportunities or scales within one design. One can also focus on minimal use of adjacent materials. Developing and designing details and solutions in wood, so that the product cycle of disposal in terms of decomposition or recycling of the materials are easily repaired, replaced, or disposed. Or simply using classic woodworking methods that have existed for ages and have been tested over time. This also helps preserve the craft and the craft industry and essentially helps preserve local jobs and national production.

However, I believe the most important value is to create objects with high design quality. Creating a piece of furniture that can stand the test of time and is aesthetically pleasing with well-thought-out details carried out in the best craftsmanship and materials, and that the users will care for, repair, and carry on through generations, is what is most sustainable.

What do you think the world needs more of? And less of?

I believe that the world needs more: Cross-pollination between disciplines.
In the dynamic ecosystem of creative fields such as craft, furniture design, architecture, and art, the interplay and exchange of ideas are essential for innovation and growth. Each discipline brings its unique perspective, techniques, and sensibilities to the table, enriching the collective pool of knowledge. It encourages us to think beyond boundaries and reimagine the possibilities, ultimately enriching the lives of individuals and communities through thoughtful and holistic design solutions.

I believe that the world needs less: Free work in the design field.
For far too long, designers have endured inadequate compensation for their work. Envision a future where sustainability certification extends to both the design itself and the well-being of the designer. By incorporating such considerations, we can ensure that the pursuit of certifications aligns with a commitment to sustainable practices and equitable treatment of designers.

Share your thoughts on the theme “DARE TO DREAM” 

Daring to dream, for me, means approaching my work as an independent furniture designer with curiosity, respect, and care. My dream is simple: to create beautiful furniture that serves as everyday scenography for people's lives. It's about pushing the boundaries of how we perceive the spaces and objects that surround us. I aim to develop designs that not only fulfil functional needs but also contribute to the aesthetic experience of time and place. This involves a deep love for design, meticulous craftsmanship, and a thoughtful selection of materials. Ultimately, I see the viewer and the user as integral parts of the designed objects — a seamless integration where design becomes part of one's basic self-understanding, much like everyday scenography.

One example that comes to mind is a project where I challenged myself to reimagine the traditional stool in the Pioneer Collection for Fredericia, integrating sustainable materials and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. It was a daring endeavor that required meticulous planning, experimentation, and a willingness to think outside the box. Through perseverance and dedication, I transformed my vision into a tangible reality — a stool that not only captivated aesthetically but also functioned seamlessly in various environments. This project exemplifies my commitment to daring to dream big and pushing the boundaries of design, ultimately delivering innovative solutions that resonate with people on both a practical and emotional level. Essentially, the result, The Pioneer Stools, continued my vein of Sculptural Minimalism that characterizes all my work. Deceptively simple design with few but carefully considered details and a playful element.

Sustainable Design Effort
At 3daysofdesign, our commitment extends beyond showcasing the latest trends in interior design and furniture. We strive to facilitate meaningful discussions, debate, and actively contribute to pushing forward a more sustainable approach within the realm of interior design and furniture business. Join us in our mission to inspire positive change and promote a greener, more responsible future for the industry.

Events mentioned in this article

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Designers mentioned in this article

Maria Bruun
Maria Bruun Design is a furniture and design studio founded by Maria Bruun, Cand. Design, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The studio offers full creative direction, furniture and interior design services.

Exhibitors mentioned in this article

Pholc
Frederiksgade 1, Ground Floor, 1265 Copenhagen
Founded in 2015 by Maja and Samuel Norburg, Pholc is a distinctly Swedish lighting brand with a new take on Scandinavian aesthetics. With a commitment to creating meaningful design rooted in strong ideas and long-lasting quality, Pholc takes a stand against the expected. The brand stays informed and relevant through collaboration with talents from diverse fields. A Pholc lamp possesses a characteristically unique style and personality that calls for attention and awakens curiosity.
Pholc
Fredericia
Løvstræde 1, 1152 Copenhagen
Since its foundation in 1911, the family-owned company Fredericia has built a strong tradition of beautiful craftsmanship and innovative design, developed in close collaboration with a circle of internationally recognised names. Legendary designers such as Børge Mogensen, Hans J. Wegner, and Nanna Ditzel, as well as contemporary figures like Barber Osgerby, Jasper Morrison, Cecilie Manz, and Maria Bruun, all play a role in shaping Fredericia into the design and craftsmanship institution it is today. Fredericia is a proud B Corp taking part in a global movement where people use business as a force for good—a holistic certification for social and environmental impact, transparency, and accountability.
Fredericia
I dream of contributing to the definition of what constitutes Danish design in the future
Maria Bruun
Questions?

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Since its inception in 2013, Signe Byrdal Terenziani has facilitated the growth of the design community in her role as Managing Director. It all began as a small design event held in an old warehouse in Nordhavn, a harbour area overlooking Copenhagen’s waterfront. Four Danish brands launched the event as a joint initiative: Montana, Erik Jørgensen (now owned by Fredericia Furniture), Anker & Co, and Kvadrat. At that time, Copenhagen lacked a proper design festival, since the previous annual furniture fair at Bella Center closed down some years before.

Today, the 3daysofdesign festival extends to the entire city of Copenhagen and is considered the most significant annual design festival in Scandinavia.

Each year since its inception, 3daysofdesign has grown in popularity exponentially. In 2023, over 250 brands exhibited at the festival, where visitors could choose from as many as 500 events to attend in various design districts across Copenhagen, such as design talks, networking events, etc.

3daysofdesign takes place every year in Copenhagen mainly during the second week of June from Wednesday to Friday. In 2025 the festival will be held from 4 - 6 June.

Pack your bags, book a hotel and come to Copenhagen! 3daysofdesign is open to the general public and everyone is invited to visit the showrooms, exhibitions, workshops and design talks. All events are free of charge – however this his year we're using a new QR ticket system to make your experience smoother and more enjoyable. Simply download our app and register as a visitor to gain access to all the exhibition spaces and events.

Please check the programme, which is updated on an ongoing basis, at 3daysofdesign.dk

You can look forward to seeing cutting-edge concepts from new and established names in lifestyle, design, furniture and interior design. Get a preview of new product launches. Learn about upcoming trends on the horizon. Meet the players behind forward-thinking ideas worth knowing. And network with like-minded people with a passion for design.

It's easy to get around in Copenhagen.

Rent a bike, jump on the bus or metro, catch a boat or simply walk from venue to venue. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the architecture, restaurants, cafes, shops and Copenhagen's relaxed vibe by day and vibrant night life.

Absolutely! Don't forget to download our app on your Android or iPhone. It provides a comprehensive view of all the festival events, including a complete list of exhibitions along with their locations on our interactive 3daysofdesign map. Plus, we're excited to introduce a new QR ticket system this year for easy access to everything the festival has to offer.

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