A 2017 revival of Bodil Kjær’s iconic Crosses vase
Danish design history draws on a wide range of world-renowned pioneers and modern minimalists. Among these is Bodil Kjær (born 1932), who is currently best known internationally and among specialists, but will soon be on everybody’s lips with the relaunch of her glassware designs under Holmegaard’s auspices.
Architect-trained, and having lived mainly abroad, Bodil Kjær studied under Finn Juhl and takes her inspiration from 1950s materials, methods and the contemporary art scene of that time. Nevertheless, she is entirely her own person and probably Denmark’s only “Essentialist”. Bodil Kjær herself uses this term for her designs, which she creates first and foremost with an interest in functionality and an understanding of society, as well as the principle that design should suit the user, and not the other way around.
Accordingly, Bodil Kjær’s work, which ranges from furniture, lamps and vases to the planning and design of buildings, is dedicated to ergonomics, dialogue and cooperation between people before aesthetics, but nevertheless – or perhaps precisely therefore – her designs are at the same time natural conversation pieces and sculptural statements. This is particularly the case with the geometrical Crosses vase, which first saw the light of day in 1961 and is now being recreated by Holmegaard based on Bodil Kjær’s original drawings.
An essential vase for a loose bouquet
They say the best way to explain who Bodil Kjær is is to talk about her 1959 desk. Not only because this beautiful desk has become a Danish design classic but especially because this item of office furniture embodies the essence of Bodil Kjær’s design philosophy. Rather than creating a heavy, distancing desk for an old-school executive, she looked instead at the modern management principles of the day and designed an inclusive desk with room for sitting together in a group. And the very same practical, unpretentious design principles recur in the Crosses vase.
Bodil Kjær herself describes the cruciform vase as a design for all those who love loose flowers and want to casually bring a piece of the garden into the living room. As most vases back then were made for bouquets of flowers, she worked through a number of different shapes before settling on the shape that best supports the flower stems – the cross. By launching Crosses, therefore, Holmegaard is not only breathing new life into a classic but also adding a glass dimension to Danish furniture design traditions and architecture.
In keeping with the 1960s’ original, the Crosses vase is made of hand-blown glass, with inner walls to give cut flowers support, displaying them almost as they would look naturally. The distinctive design is in line with today’s major trend of graphics and geometric shapes, paying homage to retro-contemporary aesthetics with three different sizes and colours which are beautiful when used in varied clusters anywhere in your home. The Crosses vases also make quite an impact when used in monochrome in one colour of glass, particularly the transparent emerald green shade – for instance on your desk, where Bodil Kjær’s groundbreaking design has its roots.
For more info on the relaunch visit Holmegaard.com