Friday Five with Morten Bo Jensen of Vipp


Danish brand Vipp has a long and storied history of making design-focused housewares, most notably the Vipp pedal bin, which has been relatively the same since it was launched 75 years ago. While the company has remained largely run by family, currently with the 3rd generation, they brought in Danish designer Morten Bo Jensen in 2006 as Vipp’s Chief Designer, who carries on the family’s tradition while also infusing the brand with new ideas. In recent year’s, his ideas have brought new life into the already thriving company, like the Vipp Kitchen and the Vipp Table. With him at the design helm, the company continues to bring simple, functional products to the market where there needs to be improvement. Take a look at where this influential designer finds inspiration in this week’s Friday Five.

Photo by Marc Haegeman

Photo by Marc Haegeman

1. Gothic Design
A design paradigm with an incredible level of design detail and grandeur.
In my opinion the most fascinating thing (and a bit scary) about Gothic design is the basic idea of getting humans to feel insignificant compared to the church!

For me personally it is a good reminder always to anchor your work in a deeper mission – as a contrast to, for example trends & fashion.


2. The Last King of Scotland
A thoughtful and overwhelming movie based on story of hope, dreams, and man’s darkest side.

Forest Whitaker is a personal favorite; an absolute one-of-a-kind actor with incredible impact.

Essentially, I find it meaningful to have dreams in life; chasing them and seeking influence… and the ability to constantly be critical towards authorities and opinions.


3. Low Pad Lounge Chair by Jasper Morrison for Cappelini
My favorite lounge chair. I love the principle of investing in products; buy something decent that lasts for a long time… maybe even forever. Products that remain relevant so you want to take them with you.

This chair has been with me since 2002, when I moved into my first apartment here in Copenhagen. So sitting in this chair today brings back countless nice memories; time spent with family and friends or just alone reading a good book… that’s when “things” become really valuable.

Photo via bogenfreund on Flickr

Photo via bogenfreund on Flickr

4. Design inspiration – metal workshops
When it comes to design and shape I never seek inspiration by wandering in the woods or watching birds fly; the brilliant ideas don’t come out of nowhere in the middle of the night!

To me factories and production workshops are almost endless libraries of design & detail inspiration.

What particularly attracts me is the fact that all objects / products / machines are made of durable quality, with a high level of detailing and with 100% focus on function – never taking any bypassing trends into account.


5. Italian Cuisine
There is probably nothing more amazing than a summer vacation in Italy – but no sightseeing, please. The aim is to relax and have one authentic Italian meal after another.

The combination of tradition and an indisputable attitude to quality makes even the simplest dishes taste heavenly.

These principles can be transferred to the process of designing a product by using decent quality materials that do not pretend to be something they are not, and by having a clear vision on how to manufacture a good product.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.