Danish and Free

“In Denmark it’s fine to be ambitious, so from the very beginning I’ve been quite ambitious. Creating and being free and expressive while studying is why you end up in design school. At that stage you really have a desire to express yourself rather than change the world. The more you get into your studies, I think you mature and eventually begin to see and understand that you have an impact on people’s lives. Then the ambition changes towards looking to enhance people’s work and home life, finding a good balance.

As for the studio, we launched in 2008–in a time when design was very expressive. All those statement designs/designers were hot. But what was lacking, in our opinion, was a focus on the welfare of people. So our vision with Norm was to be soft and minimal; introducing “human-friendly”, if you will, pieces that you wouldn’t grow tired of — a design language expressive enough that one piece can stand comfortably on its own, while at the same time subtle enough to live as part of a group. 

While I was studying and growing, it felt natural to merge these two lines of thought—subtlety and expression in harmony. Today we see this design approach fit into various markets. 

(Above) Detail from Enclose, designed with Norm Architects


We always try to think in terms of the bigger picture when we’re working — of products in the context of how it will be used and blend in with its surroundings.

Today, we’re doing more and more ensemble projects and complete interiors; not just stand-alone products. We like to dig into our roots but also the roots of the company we’re working with. References to details that might have been important to that company at a specific time.

In terms of ambition, it’s hard to say that we have ambition on behalf of our clients, but we really want to bring nature and natural elements into people’s life. What we’re really keen on doing is thinking of both workplaces and the home as a sanctuary where you can should be surrounded by the most natural elements.”

Frederik Werner, Norm Architects, taken from Fogia Journal 2019

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