Q&A with Ditlev Sibast from Sibast Furniture
To gather a deeper and more intimate connection with the artisans we work with and the agents that represent them, we asked each to answer a series of questions. We will be showcasing each Q&A in correlation with our familial content. Enjoy!
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Without giving away your location, describe where you are right now. What are the things you see, smell, or hear around you?
Most of my time I spend at a place where I can look out the window at a hillside with trees and a lake. I love following the four seasons outside my windows and going for a walk in the woods.
Taste, touch, smell, sound, sight — which of the five senses do you rely on the most? Why?
In my line of work, when it comes to developing new furniture I rely on seeing and feeling. The best way to sense, especially wooden furniture, is to feel the joints in a beautiful chair and of course to see the details that define the design.
Tell us about your relationship to Studio Zung. To begin, when and where did your relationship with our Studio start? What drew you to working with us?
Some years ago Studio Zung chose to use the Sibast No 7 Dining chair for a fantastic interior design project (Maison Surfside). Studio Zung had the most amazing pictures taken and that is how we started to work with Studio Zung. We love working with passionate people and that is what we feel the guys at Studio Zung are.
We want to know more about your creative process, walk us through it. How do you begin your projects? 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?
In Sibast Furniture we work with Danish Design Classics from the 1950’s and these are of course completely true to the original design. We also design furniture such as the Sibast No 7 Bar chair, which takes its inspiration from the original No 7 Dining chair from 1953. Developing the No 7 Bar chair was a design process where we defined three design details from the Dining chair that had to be reflected in the Bar chair.
These were the back rest, which defines the chair and adds amazing comfort to the usage. The second was the narrowing back legs which gives a unique look from behind and the third was the joint of the back rest to the back legs that should be the same as this is a signature of the No 7 chair as well. Given these design constraints we developed the Bar chair which is now being used in many restaurants together with the Dining chair since they fit so nicely together in the decoration of a restaurant where you often have a bar area as well. We used the same constraints in developing the Sibast No 7 Lounge chair to complete the No 7 series.
How would you describe your work? How do other people describe your work?
Being the founder of Sibast Furniture and carrying on the work from my ancestors I’m taking part in most of the areas in the business. However I feel strongly for the product development process as this is the backbone of what we do. Ensuring that when we relaunch designs they live up to the design and quality standards that Sibast is known for. I hope that when people look at Sibast Furniture and what we do they see that we care about details, quality and the design legacy we carry on. In 2021 we are launching designs from other known Danish designers as Piet Hein, Arne Vodder and Naja Utzon (The grandaughter of Jørn Utzon whom designed the Opera house in Sydney). Launching their designs is a great privilege.
What is your favorite object or piece of furniture you designed? What about one from a different designer?
I’m very proud and happy with the relaunch of the Sibast No 8 chair. This is a design icon and if you think about that it was designed and built in 1953 by Helge Sibast, I think he did an amazing job. There are so many beautiful details in that chair from a design point of view and from a craftsman perspective.
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?
A few years ago a Danish artist and musician contacted me to ask if we should make a project together. We ended up using specific colors from his artwork to make the chair Sibast Sunrise No 8. It was made in 88 examples and sold as an artwork. It is a very colorful chair and I love looking at it as it symbolizes a sunrise, a new beginning and the result of a fantastic project and friendship with the artist Kasper Eistrup.
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?
Sibast Furniture makes furniture that can last a lifetime. It is to me a significant contribution to sustainable living. We make the furniture from certified wood and ensure in that way, that we take care of our nature. Whenever we develop new furniture we always have sustainability as an anchor in the process.
What do you envision for your brand in five years?
Sibast Furniture is on a journey where we continue to launch Danish Design furniture and accessories. We are striving to build the Sibast brand to be known for its timeless designs and to tell the stories about the designers behind the designs.
What do you want people to take away from your brand? How do you want to be remembered? What is the legacy you imagine for your brand?
The reason my wife and I established Sibast Furniture again was that we wanted to carry on the design legacy that my grandfather left me. This is also the legacy I want to leave behind, namely beautiful design pieces that will bring joy in people's homes, restaurants or workplaces.
Are you looking forward to anything in the next few months? Any new exciting projects or plans?
I’m very much looking forward to our world premiere of a chair which was designed in 1968 by Piet Hein, the world known Danish Designer, poet and artist. This chair was designed to match his Super Ellipse table however never put into production. So we are very proud to launch this in Copenhagen in August 2021. Also our launch of a sideboard by Arne Vodder from the 1960’ies is a big event for us. Arne Vodder was very popular in the USA in the 1960’ies with his sideboards. Finally we are launching the Magnolia vase by the Danish designer and ceramicist Naja Utzon. All three design names are well known and carry a design legacy that we are looking forward to sharing with the world.