Last summer is met Anne Marie Raaschou-Nielsen at a party in the super cool building Papirhallen, in Paper Island Copenhagen. Casually I found out that Anne Marie had been the creative manager for Normann Copenhagen, Stelton and along side this, creative director of her own design company Unit 10 design, which she continues to work on today. Pretty impressive huh?! I wanted to learn more about Unit 10 Design including Anne Marie’s work and her business partner Francis Cayouette. While I was visiting Copenhagen this summer Anne Marie kindly invited me to her studio to have a chat and catch up.
The studio is located in a huge townhouse overlooking a picturesque part of central Copenhagen, Kongens Have (the Kings Garden). As I entered the building and climbed up the most beautiful original staircase, Anne-Marie and Francis both welcomed me in. I immediately felt at home, there’s something really cosy and welcoming about these apartments.
Anne Marie’s father owned the entire floor of this building (an impressive size), he lived and worked here as a very successful architect. Now the floor has been split in two, one half as his retirement home and the other half now the studio for Anne Marie and Francis (Unit 10 Design). As we sat down at the table for coffee, using the new Theo range designed by Francis, I looked around and could see that I was surrounded by their designs. Various products were displayed on the the shelves that Francis designed for Normann Copenhagen. It was great to see them showcased but also in use, as they are functional items so why not use them?!
We chatted for sometime, focussing on their work, design backgrounds and generally finding more about what they do. As we couldn’t stop talking we veered off onto Danish design, design shows in Copenhagen and also general chit chat. I even learnt the Danish word/term Janteloven, In short it’s not boasting about individual accomplishments or being jealous of others. Also if others are being particularly boastful, the subject is soon knocked down back to reality with a few choice words. Which I have totally experienced and made me giggle as I didn’t know there was a name for it!
To give a little background on the pair. Anne Marie has a broad experience of working with design brands and specialises in brand development, styling, colour studies, design and creative direction. After working as creative manager for Normann Copenhagen for 5 years she then continued as a creative manager for Stelton (6 years). Before working for Normann Copenhagen in the very early years Marie and Francis both worked on product design for Ikea, designing toys, bathroom furniture etc. Today Francis still continues to design products for Ikea including part of the PS range in 2012, storage, basins and much more. Along side this they continue to work on product design together for various clients.
Francis’s background is very much product design based. He has designed SO many products that I’ve seen on a daily basis and even styled with. Some of which I have to mention, the One Step Up Bookcase and Heima ranges for Normann Copenhagen and the new Theo range for Stelton. Though these products are very different in function, Francis’s has a clear style being simple, modern and modest.
They’re both currently working on projects for several clients, some of which I wasn’t allowed to see. That just makes me more intrigued to see what Unit 10 design do next! It was really lovely to get an insight to their work plus this studio was a delight. I did get chance to snoop around the studio and take some pictures, then realised that I was there for over two hours! oops, I really made myself at home!
I fell in love with this original architects desk lamp.
Record player envy…….
A collection of products including thermos jug for Normann Copenhagen, designs for Watt a Lamp, the One Step bookcase and Theo range.
Louis Poulsen pendants seem to be a classic choice for a Danish dining table and this PH 5-4½ is a beauty. The table, designed by the wonderful Alvar Aalto (Artek) and Theo french press for Stelton. This is where we sat, overlooking Kongens Have, so beautiful.
A beautiful and typical courtyard for houses in Copenhagen. It felt so peaceful, a little oasis in the middle of the city.
The Heima range for Normann Copenhagen, wonderfully classic.
The desks where they work, I love the creative mood boards on the walls.
A big thanks to Unit 10 Design for taking time out of their busy schedule to chat with me.
Photography © Hannah Trickett/Hannah in the house