Conversations with an Artist: Moebe
Moebe (pronounced Moo-ba) is the Scandinavian design brand of cabinetmaker Anders Thams and architects Nicholas Oldroyd and Martin D. Christensen. We found their objects in stores in and around Copenhagen and were coveting their clean, modern design. Serendipitously, we found ourselves at their showroom. We spent time talking about design, their minimal use of materials and their inspirations. We are thrilled to be one of the first US stores to carry them.
Describe the moment you realized art/design/product design fed your soul.
Anders: The question somehow seems to work on a premise that each one of us have had some kind of epiphany—a certain point in time where lightning stroke us. I don’t think this is the case actually. Designing and creating is something inherent in your perception of life. It’s part of your core personality and identity. We have never seen the world in any other way, than as designers. It’s always been the starting point for us, as long as each of us can remember.
What themes do you pursue in your art?
Martin: We have two words that we always base our designs on: simple and intelligent. We strive to reduce our designs to their most simple form and construction. This way leaning towards the banal. Our designs always have a recognisable detail, often a simple and easily read construction, and a minimalistic and clean aesthetic expression.
Tell us about what influenced your direction for the art you create.
Nick: The wish to keep things as simple as possible, as the world is complex enough. We wanted to create design without gluing, welding, using any screws, etc., and thereby challenge the common ways of constructing products.
How has your work developed over time?
Anders: Our approach to design hasn’t really changed since our start in 2014. Our direction in terms of collection however has. When we started designing we only focused on interior accessories, such as the Frame, Standing Mirror, Pinch, etc. But now we are slowly moving into the furniture category as well.
What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
Nick: This would be the Frame. For two reasons. Firstly, the frame was the first design that got Moebe on “the map”. Secondly, the frame is still today the design that Moebe is mostly known for; and it communicates our design philosophy very well with its unique transparent feature and construction (only consisting of four lists, two pieces of plexiglass and a rubber band).
Do you collect anything?
Martin: None of us actually collect anything. I guess we prefer to have as little things as possible. Well if I had to name something—I would maybe call us collectors of well made things :)
What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read, watched or listened to recently?
Nick: I saw a documentary about Ilse Crawford the other day and was really inspired by her way of just doing things and not just talking about doing things. It made me want to just crack on and get some of our other projects that we have been talking about going.
What advice would you give to your younger self about your artistic journey?
Anders: It quickly becomes one of those cheesy catchphrases, but to just embrace the obstacles you face. Along the way we have come to find that all the obstacles we have faced over the years have always resulted in improvements. Either just small improvements in our professionalism or actually taking the business to the next level.
Check out the selection of Moebe Pinch and Organize in the shop. Want more Danish design? Read about the two other Scandinavian artists we're carrying: Conversations with an Artist: Kaja Skytte and Conversations with an Artist: Kirsty Badenoch.
If you'd like more information, please do get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-569-4383.
See you soon,
Bonnie & Jeffrey