Kenn Busch | January 15, 2014
At IMM Cologne 2014, Copenhagen-based designer Louise Campbell anchored the fair’s “Pure Village” hall with her installation for "Das Haus," the fair's second-annual showcase for selected designers to envision a house for the future. Campbell was chosen in part for her previous designs for brands like Louis Poulsen, Royal Copenhagen and Zanotta. The fair’s creative director, Dick Spierenburg, was also inspired by what he called her “honest Scandinavian design approach...and strong personality.”
Campbell used the opportunity to ponder the polar nature of male and female, as couples, and as distinct parts of every person’s nature. To make her point she actually created, and then collided and intertwined, two separate wooden structures. One side is soft, with 344 square feet of end-to-end mattresses (some covered with her own textile designs). The other has hard surfaces, with an oversize dartboard with photos of wild animals and a punching bag.
Where the halves meet, Campbell installed a huge multi-purpose table, and what she prefers to call a workspace. “This is not the kitchen," she explains. "You don’t just cook here, you can make anything you feel like making. You can mix everything together, be free, be inspired, do everything you want. You can feel like a real man, or like a really strong, active woman. You fix a meal; you can fix a shoe.
And what’s with all the mattresses and duvets? “I have several different beds in my home," Campbell says. "I like sleeping in different spaces. I even have a bed in my studio, and I love sleeping there. I guess I’m a real camper. I’m 43, and I’ve already lived in 40 different places.”
When prodded whether her concept is a nod toward communal or multigenerational living, the designer lights up: “I’m so glad you asked that! This is something we’ve talked about, my assistants and I, again and again. It’s not happening in Denmark, but I wish it was. I say, ‘Let’s make space for anybody.’ It could be a stranger, but it could also absolutely be the grandparents. Maybe not the inlaws, or maybe yes. More generations under one roof. It may come up as a necessity, but why don’t we do it out of choice more often?”
With that, Campbell offered the beds for weary fair-goers to have a nap. Several did.