Anna Simon of “BEST OF VIENNA” interviewed Michael Frost and Wolfgang G. Külper:
Q: When did Scandinavian furnishing design gained foothold in Austria? MF: Until 1960-70 Scandinavian design was very widely known in Austria. Then, the Scandinavians forgot a little bit about the European continent. They found a more profitable platform in North America as well as in Japan where to larger quantities could be sold much better. Therefore this country was a bit uninteresting and had been almost disappeared. Later on this position had been taken over by the Italians. WGK: Especially in the post-war period was the quality of the Nordic design very much appreciated and enjoyed great popularity.
Q: What do you appreciate in the Scandinavian style of living? MF: Good old craft, combined with fresh design. Of course the modesty and simplicity. It is not overloaded. Less is more. WGK: I agree. I would add it is long-lasting quality, and the timelessness of the design is unsurpassed. Q: Why is the design from the very North very well established all over the world, but not so much in Austria? MF: It’s simply a matter of advertising. If it’s expensive, people want to have a name, a brand. And that’s obviously lacking here.
Q: Your favourite designers and pieces, please. MF: Would be for me Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen. Beautiful, it is so delicious to look at the China Chair by Wegner and the Artichok Lamp of Poul Henningsen. WGK: Yes, for sure those classic examples. My appreciation deserves Fredrik Mattson and Peter Opsvik.
THE EXPERTS Wolfgang G. Külper is the leading expert for Scandinavian Design. He discovered his passion towards the Scandinavian living and lifestyle already more than 30 years ago. Born in Hamburg he considers himself as a South-Viking. Being also a marketing and PR-expert he is acting nowadays as Journalist for the online-platform resp. WebTV producers Lifestyle-TV since a few years now.
Michael Frost The native Danish-born sells with his agency Frost International Scandinavian products in Austria since 1996. After interest has been limited, Frost decided to set up his own shop with those imports. In the meantime is the “Scandinavian Design House” a hot spot for furniture, lamps, textiles and home accessories from the North. Since 2010 he is also running another showroom with Hästens, the royal bed-makers from Sweden.
In the side-bar of the interview are also information boxes about IKEA, Finnshop and the Stockholm Design Week. On further pages comes an article (Nordic by Nature) and a photo gallery (Plain and Simple) were Frost and Külper inspired the interviewer Anna Simon to show resp. mention products of Louis Poulsen, Onecollection, Normann Copenhagen, Fritz Hansen, Eva Solo, Fredericia, Gubi, Montana, By Nord, Design House Stockholm, Bla Station, Artek, Muuto, Iittala, Marimekko, Verso Design, Tontuu Design and Nomoswatches.
“BEST OF VIENNA” is published twice annually with 40,000 copies and the issue 2/11 in question includes a location finder-map not only for tourists.
Photos as courtesy by Lifestyle TV