LOUISE ROE is a Danish designer celebrated for her collections of simple eponymous design objects for the modern home. By interpreting the shapes, stories and evocative characteristics of her surroundings, she produces elegant accessories such as vessels, lamps, cushions, ceramics, glassware and gallery objects. Louise Roe’s collections have been complemented with such furniture as tables, cabinets, rugs and mirrors.
Louise Roe holds a degree in fashion and concept development. Her hands-on experience in the fashion industry has made her comfortable with production processes from idea to final product, and appreciative when it comes to the art of mastering a craft. All items in Louise Roe’s collections are made from honest materials manufactured in Europe by skilled independent craftspeople who have mastered their profession throughout generations. Louise Roe, the design company, was founded in 2010. In 2018 the Louise Roe Gallery, including a cafe, opened its doors in central Copenhagen.
THE WORK PROCESS AND METHOD
Louise Roe’s passion is creation, and her approach to design is exploratory. By personality, she sees design constraints as a welcoming challenge. This passion and personality, combined with her solution-oriented nature, keeps her open to new directions as she creates her design universe. She finds great similarity between her design process and the preparation of food: she mostly deviates from the recipe to create a taste of her own.
The items in Louise Roe’s collections use honest materials such as glass, ceramics, textile, stone and wood. They are produced by skilled European craftsmen whom she both challenges and trusts. Her craftsmen are chosen for their ability to interpret her way of seeing things, as well as for their heritage within the specific craft. Louise Roe sees the design process as a collaborative effort between herself and the hands that shape her product.
“It often begins with a need or a question. Should it be a statement piece or an accent object - a solo performer or a backing group member? I enjoy modelling the shapes in wax, because a tiny dent with the thumb can make all the difference. My design is like a balancing act: a small choir of corresponding colour and shape.”
Inspiration is drawn from a myriad of sources, both historical and present day, local and international. With her sensory apparatus wide open, Louise Roe captures and filters her surroundings, constantly absorbing the shapes, hues and details of the city, the nature, and the people passing through: the poetry of a dancer’s pirouette, the beautiful brutality of a parking lot column, the lines of a plaster balustrade on a Copenhagen roof. Always challenging function and form, Louise Roe enjoys working with basic, yet detailed shapes, and she feels at home in the spheres between early art deco, 30s Brutalism and Bauhaus minimalism.
“Concrete buildings, geometric and sculptural shapes, functionalism, but with details making all the difference, attracts me. Not too much ornamentation. Composition, light and shadow are central concepts to me. I prefer the most minimal expression possible without losing sight of that one detail which makes it all sing.”
For every single design member in Louise Roe’s collections, it is it’s family which makes it shine. Composition is central in the collections, and often, several design pieces spring from a single source of inspiration. The visually ephemeral should always be counterbalanced by its gravitational opposite.
The colour-ways across the collections are inspired by the fall season with earthy tones of brown, black, greys and her favourite nuance of olive green. She prefers the depth of the dark hues, which establishes an emotional gravity, but always combined with the lighter ones - like snowy white, soft vanilla or a hint of a Nordic sky-blue.
“When I see something out of balance, I immediately feel the urge to change it. If there’s too much of something, the symmetry is off: Light and darkness, soft and textured, tall and low. When I create my designs, I often make them as pairs, to even out the balance. For this reason my collections feel like a family: Every new object somehow relates to the previous, like notes in a musical composition. Designing, for me, is about finding your inner tune. Mine is definitely a joyful one.”