When private label furniture consultants Mia and Torben Koed decided to put their 30 years of experience into a new project, they envisaged a collective of new and established designers carrying the Scandinavian tradition into a new era of furniture design. In 2014 that idea became Woud, one of my favourite New Nordic design names I’ve been following closely since discovering them a few years back.
In my mind, Woud embodies a sophisticated and elegant aesthetic reminiscent of the modernist Scandi classics. Designed for everyday use, you can see these “new originals” becoming quintessential 21st-century treasures. With the aim to spark a “love at first sight” reaction, the collection spans beautifully sculptural dining chairs, clever space-saving storage and playful accessories.
Under a 45 strong team of international designers, the collection is connected by the shared vision to create functional, livable pieces. Amongst them includes Helsinki based Poiat (a personal favourite when they exhibit at London Design Week) Toronto studio MSDS and Bauhaus University Weimar educated Schmahl+Schnippering.
The piece that kicked off the Woud love affair for me is the Arc coffee table, which also comes in a smaller side addition. Designed by Julie Begtrup and Ditte Vad during a period of time that they lived together. It’s delightfully playful, with an element of ‘hide and seek’ in the sliding table top, enabling you to clear away the clutter at a moment’s notice.
We believe timeless design can express personalities, evoke feelings, inspire people and create beautiful homes.
The Tray Shelf can be configured to accommodate taller objects that aren’t able to fit on standard shelves. Designed by Berlin-based Hanne Willmann, its delicate and slender form carries a minimalist Japanese aesthetic with its system of oak trays and matte powdered frames.
New pieces from the SS19 collection share elements of on-trend curves without losing the lightweight frames Woud are known for. Take Mika Tolvanen’s Naaki sofa for example, with its plump, firm seating and thin legs. The Duo side table designed by Taiwanese born Canadian Chifen Cheng draws inspiration from overlapping circles with an additional glass layer on top.
Below, the S.A.C chair (short for stacking armchair) combines the best of Nordic and Japanese design. Made from a combination of metal frame and plywood seat, its simplistic shape means it can be stacked without the veneer ever touching thanks to its curved back. I just love how it visually commands the space its in without taking up too much of it.
Ready for a bit of design geekery? A new and innovative type of plywood called Grada has been used to create the normally difficult to achieve cone shape of the Mono chair (above). Through the process of heat and high pressure, faster, more ecological production methods have opened up what would have traditionally taken several stages of cutting, glueing and pressing to achieve.
I think you’ll agree that as far as New Nordic style goes, Woud have found the sweet spot between traditional heritage and future-proof design. I’m excited to see where they take it next…