ON ANY ordinary day, people from around the globe travel to Copenhagen to buy a product that is well-known for its unique stylish design and its versatility. The product is not a luxury watch nor car, but simply, a waste bin.
In 1939, in the small Danish town of Randers, lived Marie Nielsen, a hairdresser who asked her metalsmith husband Holger to create a device that would be useful for her salon. With no background in design, Holger relied on his expertise as a metalsmith which lead to the creation of neither a hot oil treatment machine nor a curling iron, but the first pedal-controlled waste bin.
The waste bin, which was initially made without the intention of selling it, became popular among clinics, and led to the birth of the Danish design brand, Vipp.
Today the brand has expanded its collection beyond the waste bin to include home appliances and accessories.
With the aim of expanding the brand’s accessibility, Vipp found a local partner in Mattony, Inc., a furniture merchandiser and subsidiary of Noble House Distribution Enterprise Inc., which paved the way for the launch of Vipp’s first concept store in Asia at the 2nd floor retail area of Shangri-la at the Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
“[Our brand DNA] is very much founded on the bin and the fact that it was basically just a tool [for a hair salon]. It’s also based on the material and craftmanship that Holger [Nielsen] used,” Vipp chief designer Morten Bo Jensen told BusinessWorld at the launch, stating that Vipp’s products, mainly made of steel and rubber, “carry the DNA of the original bin.”
The pedal-controlled waste bin, kitchen and bedroom appliances, and lighting fixtures are among the products available at the showroom.
The waste bin, originally designed with a slightly pointed steel lid, now has a dome-shaped lid for the kitchen, bathroom, and office. According to Mr. Jensen, the bin is equipped with an oil damper underneath which allows for the slow and silent closing of the lid. The bins are available in black and white.
The Vipp kitchen, designed in 2013, is made of stainless steel and has three components — the kitchen island, wall module, and tall module. The countertop is made of 4mm solid stainless steel with an integrated sink and water tab, and the drawers are equipped with rubber plated handles. The kitchen is available only in black.
The powder-coated steel lighting fixtures — floor, desk, and wall lamps, and a light pendant — are equipped with movable arms and have a minimum of 3,997 perforations (depending on lamp size) of the shade for light diffusion.
For the past 79 years, Vipp has been committed to manufacturing products that would last many years and not go out of style.
“Often, [we] talk about design as how things look only. It’s also about the experience, usability, and functionality. Style is more a type of interior setting. I think it’s important to not make conclusions that a certain style is to be mixed with something more of the same style,” Mr. Jensen said about the difference between style and design.
Notable characteristics of VIPP products are their minimalist and monochromic style, “Certain colors are really related to certain trends. Color schemes change all the time. By picking black as the main color of our products, we think we have chosen a color that ensures that in 20 years, you are not [going to] disregard your kitchen due to a color that was fashionable,” Mr. Jensen said on going against trends.
Mr. Jensen stressed that the brand gives value to a user’s interaction with the product by designing them with specific “touch points.”
“We’ve decided to stay so close to our mechanical approach to things. It’s [really] about finding the essence of the product that creates value on a daily basis,” he said. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman