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The Vipp design philosophy
Taken straight out of the trash can
Our ambition is a world with fewer but better products. The
philosophy present in all Vipp products is taken straight out of the bin
– evoking function over form and staying power over fading trends.
Holger Nielsen’s original pedal bin was not designed in the strict traditional sense but got its visual expression in response to a series of functional criteria: A large foot for stability, a domed steel lid on top which is easy to clean, ears on the side of the body so it is easy to move around and a rubber ring at the base for protection the floor. These functional dogmas remain the starting point for all Vipp products.
Morten Bo Jensen is the creative mind behind recent years’ Vipp products. At the tender age of 27, Morten Bo was entrusted to carry on the Vipp design heritage. Educated as an industrial designer in Denmark and with a past working for Biomega, Morten Bo took on the challenge of bringing 75-year-old design principles into the future. Here, he comments on the essence of a Vipp product.
VIPP HAS ITS ROOTS IN THE PROFESSIONAL MARKET,
HOW ARE THEY VISIBLE TODAY?
Vipp was born out of a need for functional tools in the professional market. Just like Holger Nielsen, who crafted the bin for Danish clinics, we consider ourselves as ‘tool builders’ measuring the quality of our tools on their long-term ability to provide better every day experiences. Our driving ambition is to bring functional principles found in the professional market into the private home with genuine, industrial design objects.
HOW IS HOLGER'S PHILOSOPHY
EVIDENT IN NEWER VIPP PRODUCTS?
You see the parallels in use of materials like stainless steel and silicone rubber and in the predominant focus on function. For example the cover of our laundry basket is made of the same thickness of steel as the bin lid using the same principle of production but designed in a more contemporary form. In terms of function, the 1900 perforated holes in the lid hold their origin in the need to ventilate laundry corresponding to Holger’s bin lid equipped with a specially developed damping mechanism making the lid close in a smooth and damped motion. While each serving its own distinct function, Vipp products share the same point of departure - crafting a durable and timeless tool reflected in every detail.
HOW DOES VIPP DISTINGUISH ITSELF
FROM THE BOOMING DESIGN INDUSTRY?
We only make one type of each product. Because once you have captured the essence of a product and done your utmost in its conception, what else is there to achieve? Therefore, you will never see a younger model of an existing Vipp product. Instead, our aim is also to develop products that make a difference compared to what the industry already offers through a higher quality and better function. It's not just about developing something that is new or different for that reason alone. For example, we believe that the market lacked a proper, long-lasting dishwashing brush, and which offers the possibility to replace the head unlike 'disposable' dishwashing brushes. So we developed our own.
SO DETAIL IS KING?
Yes. A Vipp product is essentially what it does and function guides every detail of
our designs. Functional solutions thought out on a detail level provide an honest expression of how the product is constructed while adding to the experience of
using it day after day.
WHY AN IN-HOUSE DESIGN STRATEGY?
Choosing to work with design in-house means that we do not catch the stardust added by working with renowned designers – a tendency you generally see in this business. Instead, designing in-house forces us to make the product the star and concentrate all our energy on making it shine.
At Vipp, the design process is fully integrated with product development so we have the opportunity to follow a product all the way to the door through a joint effort. This provides deep insight into the materials, the construction and the manufacturing processes behind every product.
This knowledge is invaluable and of great importance every time we start up a new design process and is in fact also indirectly helping us create visual connections between our products. The object and its development are inseparable, so the design process does not end until we hold the finished product in our hands.The Vipp collection is a result of 75 years of craftsmanship within processing of solid, genuine and honest materials like steel and rubber. This allows our internal team of engineers to constantly refine and repeat our material knowledge.
SO, YOU WILL NEVER EXPERIENCE
VIPP PRODUCTS BORN OUT OF TRENDS?
Trends and fashion is what eventually goes out of fashion. Therefore, we intentionally avoid all changing fashions and trends, legitimising all Vipp products as long-term investments. There will never be a spring or fall collection or something new for the sake of novelty. This allows time for gradual improvements of existing products but never rejuvenations. Aesthetics will only change for functional reasons.
Vipp takes a clear opposition to the fashion injection that the industrial design business has been given over the past few years with its obsession with ‘newness’, seasonal collections and material trends. Instead, we seek to offer the market timeless products. Timeless in both quality and aesthetics. Our intention is products that will last at least as long as our 75-year-old bin.
WHY WAS VIPP AN ATTRACTIVE HOME FOR YOU
TO DEVELOP YOUR CAREER AS AN INDUSTIAL DESIGNER?
The fact that Vipp is built on a foundation of superiour craftsmanship and a great story was of course extremely attractive, but the fact that Vipp was committed to expanding its product portfolio and thereby developing its story was what really caught my attention.
The family behind Vipp, the Egelunds, and I clicked immediately on what constitutes good design. I had worked for the Biomega bike brand, optimising the design of what was essentially an everyday item, seeking to make it more contemporary and international.
In many ways, this reflected Vipp’s approach to design – continuing its heritage of engineering high-end design solutions, but adding a more modern edge and a broader range. Vipp had started to develop new product groups with external designers, but in order to fully understand and honour the Vipp DNA, you have to live and breathe it from the inside. That is the reason why hiring an in-house designer felt right for Vipp, and since I have personally chosen to specialise in the DNA design discipline, we were also closely attuned on this front. I still feel very privileged to have gotten this opportunity.