Artisan Wednesday | Q+A with Toke Lauridsen

Without giving away your location, describe where you are right now. What are the things you see, smell, or hear around you? 

It's hot and been so all week. It's been raining all day. The air is now fresh and very comfortable. There is a slight wind breeze coming from an open window behind me. Sometimes I hear somebody talking far away in the streets. A good day for new ideas.


Taste, touch, smell, sound, sight — which of the five senses do you rely on the most? Why? 

My sight is by far my most important sense. My memory is visual. I work with specific / hands on materials. In different shapes. It ends up with a visual product. So it’s a transformation of materials into something lively, visual touchable and usable.


Tell us about your relationship to Studio Zung. To begin, when and where did your relationship with Tommy and our Studio start? What drew you to working with us?

I first heard about Tommy through Niels Stroyer from Frama. Tommy was  in Denmark and Niels thought we should meet. So Tommy came to my shop and we talked for at least 2 hours. I showed him my work and projects and he immediately dived into it very interested. Almost like we had been working together forever. I really liked that. We have same interest in design and detail. It was very inspiring for me talking with Tommy and discovering the universe around Studio Zung.


How has this relationship evolved over time? Could you describe one of your favorite moments or projects working with our Studio?

I have met with Tommy a few times when he was in Denmark. It´s been a long time now because of Corona. But we write on messenger sometimes. Tommy asked me some years ago about a project he was doing (Atelier 22) He wanted a large Mobile for the kitchen / living room. I just got some pictures of the house / room and a rough measurement of the mobile. Now that’s a challenge. It really tested my sense of what I was doing and designing. Of what is good and what is not. In the end I think it worked really well and I’m very proud of it.

Shop Toke Lauridsen's Metal Mobile


We want to know more about your creative process, walk us through it. How do you begin your artworks? Do you anchor it with an image, a material, color, feeling? How do you come to a stopping point and know your work is complete, if you ever think so?

I have learned over time that it works best if I have one general idea of the object I want to design. Most times I anchor it with one specific material or shape of steel I want to try out. It is a kind of material obstruction for me. It makes the design very simple and easy to read.  The best design evolves from here when I am in the process and the solutions gets obvious during my working with it. If my initial idea works out in the end, then I know it works and when to stop.


How would you describe your work? How do other people describe your work?

I´m trying to get the best from the metal I use. Its shape, surface / patina and strength. The end product is just me seeing possibilities. 

 

What is your favorite object or piece of furniture you designed? What about one from a different designer?  

The Adam Stool is my favorite design. It says a lot of what I try to design and strive for when I work. Simplicity and balance the right material to achieve the end design I want. With the Adam stool I think it worked out very well.

I'm very inspired by the Mobiles of Alexander Calder.

 


Think of an object in your home that has the most significance to you. Could you share with us what it is and the memory behind it?

We have a few Adam stools at home. It´s of great importance to me. Because I designed it in 2010, the year before my son Adam was born, and then named after him. He passed in 2019 with brain cancer. Now the stool is all over the world carrying his name. 

  

We live in a society where so much of our identity is surrounded by the things we consume whether that be the things we buy, the food we eat, or the content we see, along with the fast paced nature of it. How do you approach mindful living and sustainability in the context of your work and in your everyday life?

I think about sustainability in my everyday life. The last few years it has become very implemented in my actions. Thinking of what I eat, shop and how I dispose of garbage.

The steel I use in my shop, Is always recycled.


What do you envision for yourself in five years? 

I strive towards doing more of my own designs in my everyday work. The great challenge is to make it my primary and only work.


What do you want people to take away from your work, from your beautiful modern mobiles to your Adam Stools? How do you want to be remembered? What is the legacy you imagine for yourself?

I would like if people see my designs as something they have not seen before or get a little intrigued by it. I try to be original in my own way within my craft. There is far between my mobiles and the Adam Stool. But I think they have things in common, like balance / imbalance and refinement.


Are you looking forward to anything in the next few months? Any new exciting projects or plans?

In mid-September there is a big Design exhibition going on all over Copenhagen. I have a new mobile on display at a venue in a Design Hotel.