Interview by Austin Sailsbury
December 10, 2017
Photography by Lars Hauschildt & Morten Bonde
story 01
/furniture designer
Amanda Lilholt is a rising star in a new generation of Scandinavian designers. Never one to simply imitate, Amanda is pushing limits and disrupting the Danish Design game. Here at ARKK, we not only love Amanda’s stunning furniture and interiors, but we also applaud her daring innovator’s philosophy: ‘I don't believe in perfect. I believe in taking things a bit further.’ We couldn’t agree more.
First things first, how would you describe yourself and the work you do?
Well, I’m Amanda. I’m 28 years old and I live in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district. I work as a furniture designer and I run my own company. Every day I am developing furniture concepts and making interior design solutions for clients and companies.
How would you describe a ‘normal’ day in the life of a furniture designer?
Every single day is different, so it's difficult to describe what’s ‘normal.’ But many days begin with client or customer meetings. After that, it’s off to the workshop to work on new ideas, prototypes, or to work on an existing commission. I’m on my feet a lot and when I do find five minutes to sit down, I’ll try to catch up on some emails. Other days, there are photoshoots happening or deliveries that I need to manage - so I’m more or less always moving.
Clearly, you’re a busy woman. How do you stay calm and focused amidst the busyness?
I have to try to remember to breathe. During each day, I stop once in awhile and just take five minutes to slow down and focus on breathing properly. Maybe this is a kind of meditation for me, but it definitely helps to clear my mind and keep me in balance. Oh, and, of course, every day has to start with coffee - that’s the real key to staying on track.
How do think your work fits within the big picture of Danish Design?
I’ve always felt I could add something unique to the Danish Design scene - something outside the ‘New Nordic’ aesthetic but something that’s still durable and timeless. In my work, there is a lot of experimentation with materials and techniques, which brings an artistic quality to each piece of furniture I create. I think this experimental approach can help people see furniture in a different way and imagine interior design in a new way as well.
Being a ‘designer’ is a pretty romanticized profession. What does it really take to do the job and to take projects all the way through production?
I think it’s all about vision: the ability to see a design in the beginning and then have the courage to push through the whole process, problem solving to overcome the complexities and challenges that always come up. Every project is a different challenge, so each process requires both uncompromising determination and a willingness to be flexible and seek out new solutions along the way.
What would you recommend to others just starting out in your industry?
First of all. Just do it: if it feels right, just do it. But the younger me could have used some years of experience in a established company. I started my company while I was still a student, which was pretty difficult. But I also gained a lot of experiential knowledge doing it that way. I had no choice, I just had to work hard and keep going. But it is hard and it takes many years before you taste the results, so you have to prepare yourself for working your ass off.
Let’s talk about the future: where do you see yourself five years from now?
Hm, okay...I see myself still running my own company, but bigger - so that I can do more. It would be amazing to have a studio with 10 - 15 employees, each creating their own furniture designs and interior concepts, not only here in Denmark but around the world. I dream about developing a full brand, that provides complete design services and a wide range of products. I see flagship stores in NY, Paris, London, and, of course, here in Copenhagen.
the uniform
I keep it simple. Everyday I wear jeans and a t-shirt. Therefore, I like to spice up my outfit with a great pair of sneakers - it's the most stylish part of my daily ‘uniform.’
current sneaker collection
21 Pairs
how do you know a pair of kicks is right for you?
It’s all about the quality and design. ‘Love at first sight’ is my guiding principal with sneakers. It’s intuitive actually; when I see a design, I just know.’
My favorite pair of arkk copenhagen sneakers?
That’s easy: the Spyqon FG H-X1 in Warm Sand, it’s just so soft and beautiful.
Those are some seriously big dreams!
Well, yeah, why shouldn’t they be big, they’re dreams, right?
styles featured in this story
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STORY 03 Alasdair