MUNK Collective is a design community founded by Hans Peter Munk in 2012, starting off as a small interior and furniture store named MUNK, located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. The store was a huge success and resulted in Hans thinking of the next step, and with his years of involvement and understanding of design and the design process, it didn´t take long before Hans started creating himself. Soon thereafter a design community had been created, involving some highly talented designers and architects, and the collaborative design community MUNK Collective was born. The designers are found by identifying the aesthetics matching the values of MUNK Collective, and not only are the talents found in Scandinavia, but they consist of a varied group of designers from places such as Oslo, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Berlin, resulting in talents with different skills, traditions and experiences.
“MUNK Collective emphasizes new talent and is a progressive platform for designers who experiment with functionality and materials. They all share a desire to shape and challenge current trends. Our design community is based on being a design brand that collaborates with and develops the young design generation by offering them the opportunity to make their mark on the design world.”
We´ve had the pleasure to chat to Hans Peter Munk , the founder of MUNK Collective.
Where in Denmark are you from?
I was born in a suburb to Copenhagen, but I grew up on the countryside. Today I live in the very heart of Copenhagen in an old townhouse from the 16th century.
As a self-taught designer, how did you start out and can you tell us a bit about the process?
I grew up surrounded by design history and a father who taught me to build everything out of nothing. He taught me about materials and how they react on their own and in combination with other materials. For the past many years, I worked as Sales Manager for several big design companies, but 7 years ago I opened my own multi-brand shop. The shop was a great success and I started playing with the idea of making a design collective. I got in contact with Johansen Faurschou who designed the FRAME tray. The product led the way for many new products, and this was the foundation of MUNK Collective. Today I have the advantage of being able to produce my own designs as we are in daily contact with producers. Aesthetics are an individual thing, but we all have got one. I am a firm believer of the fact that hard work pays off. My hard work pays off the ways I am able to now design furniture under my own name, in my own aesthetics.
What are the pros and cons about studying vs. being self-taught?
It’s a very difficult question to answer as I haven't studied design, but I definitely feel that I have another understanding of design, as I was “educated” in the hands of the end-consumers. This gives me a better understanding of which products work and which ones might not. This is an important skill when I evaluate potential new products from new designers and architects who don’t have the same experience as I do.
What was the first piece you ever designed?
I have been drawing my whole life; cars, houses and furniture but the first thing I've got into production was the TURN lamp. The lamp is a take on a lampshade as an alternative for the naked light bulbs that still has an industrial vibe. You can use it in the ceiling or turn it around and place it directly on a table or floor.
Why did you decide to launch MUNK Collective?
I had a great network of designers and architects who I wanted to work with. I was motivated by the idea of creating a collaboration with creative talents, so I closed the store and started pursuing my dream.
Can you tell us a bit about the design process?
To me, good design is design that acts as a solution to a problem. This is why my products are always multi-functional. I like to work in as few materials as possible as I find the design in one or two materials more transparent and more accessible.
What have been some of your most challenging projects?
Most projects are challenging in a new company. Sometimes even a simple product turns out to be difficult, as we might have to develop special tools, or have to buy a big load to get started. But in general challenges are there to be solved. Right now we are working on a chair, which turned out to be more challenging than expected, as the backrest it very difficult to solve for those small factories we are still working with.
How would you describe your home?
My home is a big space where multifunctional rooms are combined in one big room. This means that my kitchen, the living room, and the dining area are one shared space. The interior is a mixture of Scandinavian design classics mixed with a lot of different brands that I have been in contact throughout my career. I like to combine modern furniture with icons, and I try to keep everything in natural materials. On top of that my apartment is full of green plants.
What is your most treasured piece of furniture?
That has to be my special handmade Afghanistan rug made in black wool and blue/silver silk. I imported it myself some years ago, and I actually enjoy looking at it and touching it every day.
Please tell us about your designs:
CLICK lounge chair is a piece of furniture that with a single ‘click’ can be transformed into a lounge sofa, just by using the specially designed clips. CLICK lounge consists of a powder coated steel frame and a cold foam seat upholstered with KVADRAT© fabric.
TURN lamp functions as a table lamp and a pendant. It is made of polished steel or powder coated steel. The name also refers to the switch on the lamp, which you turn to bring it to life. TURN has a perforated surface that makes geometric shadows on the nearby materials.
CLIMB can be assembled in many ways as you can let it climb up your wall, position one unit as a bedside table or use it as office storage. CLIMB is designed with slots to make it easy to slide each unit into another. The system comes in oak or walnut.
Where can we find you on a Sunday evening?
On a typical Sunday evening I like to take my dog for a walk in the park and process the week before a new one begins. Other times I might invite friends over for a cozy Sunday dinner. I rarely spend my weekends on the sofa even though I often plan to. To me weekends are all about going out for dinner and drinks with my friends, as I like to be surrounded by people all the time and take full use of the city.
See more of MUNK Collective at www.munkcollective.com