Richard Munao, founder and director of furniture retailer Cult, is a Scandinavian design curator of the highest order in the antipodes. As part of our series ahead of the Denmark Design exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery, he reflects on the continued growth and far-reaching influence of the designs in his company.
Novelnyt: You represent some of the biggest, most iconic names in Danish furniture design. What do you think is the secret to their longevity?
Richard Munao (RM): In addition to the superior level of craftsmanship and high-quality materials used to make the some of the Danish design icons that we are lucky enough to supply, a big reason why Danish furniture will continue to endure is because it is not fashion or trend oriented. The focus is on the well-designed and the well-made, and the result of this is timeless furniture that will withstand generations.
Novelnyt: How has Danish design evolved since the mid-century design boom? What do you think are the most exciting new styles, materials or designers?
RM: It’s great to see newer Danish design brands, such as Hay and &tradition, utilise Danish design traditions and reinterpret them to create new traditions. Each Hay product embodies the essence of Danish design, within their range of quality and functional products for everyday life. &tradition reinterpret and reintroduce design classics. It’s exciting to follow these new interpretations.
At Milan, this year, we saw an exciting new collection from Mater: the Ocean Collection. This is a classic design by Joergen & Nanna Ditzel, reimagined by Mater in a material that is made entirely from ocean waste and recycled plastic. It is an exciting example of how mid-century design can interact with, and adapt to, contemporary issues and concerns.
Novelnyt: How do you think Scandinavian design has influenced designers in this region?
RM: There is a real humbleness to Scandinavian design; the same can be said for Australian design and designers. I think we are are most influenced by their passion for creating considered designs and beautiful products, and we are certainly connected by this.
Find the full selection of articles from our Denmark design series here. For more on Cult, click here.