Christian Andresen, Fritz Hansen

By Matt Balmer
October 11, 2019

Inspired by design history and German sports cars, Christian Andresen reflects on the history of Fritz Hansen, discovering Japanese art from the 70s, and creating a chair made of upcycled household plastic waste.

When was the business founded, and why?

The history of Fritz Hansen begins in 1872, when the enterprising cabinet maker Fritz Hansen from a small village in southern Denmark obtains a trade license in Copenhagen. The decisive year is 1885, when he starts a furniture production company of his own and, two years later, he has managed to establish a flourishing workshop in Christianshavn – a central part of Copenhagen. Fritz and his son Christian initiated the high-quality level which has been the trademark of Fritz Hansen’s products ever since.

How many staff?

Today we are around 90 people working from our headquarters and 250 on a global scale.

Where is it based?

Today we are based out of Allerød, north of Copenhagen, where the business moved to in 1899 – starting with a saw mill and since moving the entire workshop up here.

What is your latest significant achievement or project of note?

We recently launched N02 Recycle in collaboration with Japanese design studio Nendo. N02 Recycle is a stackable chair, with a shell made of 100% recyclable plastic. The material comes from household plastic waste, making it both upcycled and recyclable. This is a project that I’m personally very proud to introduce.

What is your favourite possession?

I have many. I am fond of artefacts from the industrial age and I have many lamps and decorative items from 1930-1970. I also like crafted Danish ceramics.

I’ve just discovered…

The wonderful Japanese photographer and filmmaker Seijun Suzuki – a cool look into especially a black and white 70s universe in Japanese culture and city life.

Who inspires me…

It is a big melting pot of people that inspire, provoke and are challenging the status quo that interest and inspire me. I am particularly interested in creative design thinking, architecture, urbanism and politics.

I’ve always been a fan of…

I am not really a “fan” guy. I am probably overly interested in design history and 80s German sports cars.

My highlight of the last 12 months…

We have been very busy at Fritz Hansen preparing for a lot of projects hitting the market and rebuilding our headquarters. Both of these aspects of the business have been highlights for me. An aside to this is a trip to Corsica, allowing me to drink in the wild nature and the clear sea around the island. Completely inspiring.

My next design trip is to…

Switzerland, where I am meeting with Swiss architects and dealers presenting the N02 recycle chair and visiting some of the new zero-energy houses that are being built