Danish architect Frederikke Aagaard
Multitalented Frederikke is a designer, TV-host, author, lecturer and curator, with her eye on home and interior. She offers product design, exhibition architecture, cultural and design insight in lecture and writing, and much more.
Frederikke is from the beautiful Danish countryside north of Copenhagen, but is now based in the capital in the area of Frederiksberg.
How did you find your interest and talent for home and design? And what was your route into TV?
I couldn’t decide whether to study astrophysics, psychology or art… So I figured architecture could be a good combination. That, and also my father was running out of patience with my year-offs after high school. I studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and at The Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Both schools have a strong focus on the artistically, and I did my thesis as an artsy comment on Paul Viriolio’s theory of Dromology (science of speed). It wasn’t really in the cards that I’d do interiors, products or even communication.
I had a company while studying that got quite a bit of press, and after graduating, I got calls to host TV programmes for the two major Danish broadcasters. I took the one where I’d design the homes of teenagers and did it fulltime for three years, wrote two books and used every single idea I’ll ever get that’s remotely teenage-related on more than 50 rooms.
After a break from TV, curating and designing exhibitions for The Danish Design Centre and Ministry of Culture, I’m back on the screen, hosting intellectual programme series for adult design nerds.
Some may think, that I’m all over the place, but honestly, doing an exhibition or a TV programme about design is both telling a story well and capturing an audience.
What have been some of your favourite projects?
I like projects where I reach a wide audience the best, whether it's TV, the interior of a hotel or an exhibition. Most projects I do have duration of months or years, so I always end up getting to know my clients and co-workers. Lucky me – I feel humble and honoured to get to have an impact in people’s life and everyday many years to come.
What are some of your design inspirations?
I’m inspired by the same things as anyone else: Films, art, adds, etc. But being in the visual field, I probably just notice things a couple of years before others. It can be a colour, a material, a way of thinking, or a feeling or expression. It’s so often mine and other people’s ideas materialise within the same year – zeitgeist, you know.
What makes you stand out amongst other designers?
I’m focused on communicating design in TV, audio, writing and exhibition. I always wonder why art, theatre, music, literature, etc. gets reviewed, and design not. It’s mainly in the lifestyle section, described with words like “cool”, “new” or “trendy”. Fair enough, but WHY is it cool? Is it the shape, material, texture, idea, production, sustainability, comfort, reference to something existing? I always aim to unfold and develop the vocabulary when it comes to design - to tell the story behind the design.
Can you mention a few of your favourite Nordic designers?
I stead of singling anyone out, I’d rather talk about the rise there is in Danish craftsmanship these years. There has been a wave of amazing Danish filmmakers, then chefs - now it’s the architects time to shine, and I’m convinced the next we’ll see are the designers that master a craft, like stoneware and ceramics is highly popular, glass blowers, carpenters, silversmiths are among the next group of stars.
What exciting new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m currently curating and designing an exhibition of Danish Design in Russia for the Cultural Institute, that’s opening later this year. I’m working with TV for design institutions and a super exciting project that’s still a secret. I’ll be happy to tell you as soon as it’s up and running. Also, we are doing a large-scale interior design for a private creative company.
Photos by Pernille Enoch
How and where do you enjoy spending your weekends?
I spend my weekends enjoying the cultural life of Copenhagen, eating out or staying in and cooking like there’s no tomorrow, staying in our small garden house by the water in central Copenhagen, visiting friends in the countryside or abroad.
To see more of Frederikke visit her website at www.frederikkeaagaard.com