Vipp'ing love my bin
by Gerard McGuickin aka Mr. Walnut Grey
Vipp celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. What an incredible tale this enduring Danish design establishment has to tell. The Vipp that we see today emerged from a practical rubbish bin that was built in 1939 by its founder, Holger Nielsen, for his wife Marie’s hair salon.
In my considered opinion, Vipp makes the world’s greatest bins. All too often, bins, clearly designed to contain rubbish, are treated in the same manner. The Vipp bin is different. Firstly, it’s a design classic. Secondly, whilst its functional objective is to house rubbish, its physical manifestation is a beautiful one. Thirdly, it is a common occurrence that bins must be hidden from view, concealed in cupboards and under kitchen sinks. With a Vipp bin, there is a patent yearning to showcase its form, to embrace it as part of the make-up of a given space - the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, storeroom et cetera. The Vipp bin is as much an object of desire as many of its classic design contemporaries.
I received my first Vipp bins in 2005; they were a housewarming present from my parents. I can still remember the excitement in choosing the bins - a Vipp 16 and two Vipp 13s - and the anguish of having to wait several weeks for their arrival. Nevertheless, they were worth waiting for and nine years later continue to store my rubbish with elegant grace. My most recent Vipp bin (an addition, not a replacement), was a Vipp 15 in Copenhagen Green. A firm believer that a well chosen colour accent adds a level of urbanity to a space, my Vipp 15 is wholly congruent with the grey wall against which it sits in my living area.
Good design truly is aesthetic (as espoused by acclaimed industrial designer Dieter Rams). The Vipp bin’s aesthetic quality is, I believe, integral to the way in which it impacts positively upon my person and well-being. My Vipp bins are part of my everyday reality and I often feel a sense of satisfaction in using them. When design is innovative, easy to understand, useful, long-lasting and a part of the person’s own sense of self-expression, then it will enhance the way in which we live.
As a family company, I value that Vipp works to ensure there is a tangible link between today’s Vipp products and its history. It was from Holger Nielsen’s early utilitarian and functional concept that Vipp’s DNA was born. Holger’s classic bin design is a part of the fabric of Vipp; his legacy is embraced by the company and instilled in everything it produces. Kasper Egelund, Vipp’s CEO and Holger’s grandson, expresses this legacy as one “of good craftsmanship, quality materials and honest design.”
I was excited to visit Vipp’s Copenhagen flagship store in June last year as part of a select European bloggers collective. During that visit, I had the pleasure of hearing Sofie Egelund, Head of Communication and Holger Nielsen’s granddaughter, tell the story of Vipp in her words. Listening to Sofie’s reflections on her grandfather made everything I knew about Vipp feel all the more genuine and tangible, adding yet more kudos to my beloved Vipp bins.
Happy 75 years Vipp! x
Gerard McGuickin is a freelance design writer and a blogger for his online zine, Walnut Grey Design. He writes intelligently about ‘good design’ from the viewpoint of interiors, architecture, objects and lifestyle. Gerard has a specialist interest in modern contemporary and midcentury Nordic and British design.