January 2018: Danish designer Cecilie Manz is Designer of the Year at next week’s Maison & Objet show in Paris. She tells Studio about finding a good working balance and her plans for 2018.
When and where did you start work as a designer?
Right after my diploma from the design school. I worked half a year in a nice office in Helsinki and meanwhile I started my company and did pieces for exhibitions. I was very eager to get started and always knew I needed to be my own boss. When I was a young teenager, I created my own jewellery – perhaps this was my first design work.
What is your latest significant achievement/project of note?
To me, the Duravit project is still fresh in mind: when a project runs for a long time, it also takes time to ‘put it to sea’. It’s a bathroom series with wash basins, chests, and bathtubs in many variations.
What is your best selling product?
The Caravaggio Lamp from Lightyears/Fritz Hansen has been selling for 13 years now – this is something I’m quite proud of.
I’ve just discovered…
a bunch of things. This is the great part about my field of work, that you get to learn about new materials, people, and crafts all the time.
Who inspires me…
Many people inspire me. Relations with people are vital for doing a good job. The hard point is finding the balance of when you need to listen and share and when you need to close the door and retreat to your own creative space.
I’ve always been a fan of…
Quality. It’s very difficult for me not to choose good quality. The challenge is to find out when you should consider something to be done because you can always do a little better.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m very occupied with, and excited about, the exhibition in Paris at Maison & Objet. I’ve been working hard on a couple of new projects – ‘free wheel projects’, initiated and conducted by myself. It’s crucial for me to be able to work without boundaries once in a while, without a manufacturer on the side with demands and opinions. This freedom gives the possibility to follow impulses and sensibility in another way than usual.
Your highlight of the last 12 months…
I’ve had many launches of new products this past year: Workshop Chair (Muuto), Luv bathroom (Duravit), Fritz Hansen Objects, B&O Play and more. If I should highlight one thing in particular, I’m very happy about the team (of three) I have in my office now. We work well together, this is so important.
My next design trip is to…
My desk in Copenhagen. I need to start up many new projects, I’m really looking forward to that.