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Jakob Wagner, smart products

Jakob Wagner, smart products


For danish-born designer Jakob Wagner, founder of design company Studio Jakob Wagner, a meaningful object must engage the whole person. The products he offers are endowed with both rational and playful qualities, with a stripped-down and sensually seductive visual expression.

Jakob Wagner, born in 1963, is one of the most respected and award-winning danish designers of his generation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Design Engineering from the Danish Academy of Engineering (now Technical University of Denmark-DTU), and also obtained a diploma in product design from the Art Center in Montreux, Switzerland. In 1993, following internships and studies in the United States, Italy and France, he founded the Studio Jakob Wagner in Copenhagen. The initial emphasis is on high-tech goods for medical and sports applications. Later, objects designed for home use were added, which led the designer to work for major brands, such as Alessi, Bang & Olufsen, Menu, Muuto or Stelton, and to imagine furniture projects for Cappellini, B&B Italia, Moroso and Hay.

Wagner has over twenty years of design experience. His creations are shown around the world and are part of the permanent exhibition of the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York. He has received numerous awards, including six IFs, three Red Dot, the Designpreis of the Republic of Germany in 2008 and Designer of the Year. In 2003 he was awarded a three-year fellowship from the Danish Arts Foundation. He has participated in numerous exhibitions including Coffre-fort at MoMA in New York (2005), Use-it in Tokyo (2005) and Nordic transparency at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1999). Jakob’s design is most recognizable for its characteristic landscape of form, motivated by the search for the right balance between opposing elements, such as masculine/feminine, static/dynamic, symmetrical/asymmetrical, etc. Its simple but sophisticated lines capture the essence of a product in a minimalist, poetic and playful solution. His approach is characterized by careful attention to detail and a strong understanding of user needs.

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Wagner does not favor any material or technique, but bases his choices on what is relevant to the project in question. In his design work, he strives for consistency between purpose and meaning, in order to create smart objects that come to life and enjoy owning and using. To achieve this, he attaches great importance to clarity and understanding of things, but he also seeks to humanize them, by infusing them with a soul. For example, on his Point of View bench (2015), two people can sit and enjoy the view together. And most importantly, each of them can learn how different the world is through each other’s eyes. On one hand, the bench looks red and solid, on the other, it looks blue and transparent. In this way, the creator explores the intersubjective field and reminds that everything in life seems different from someone else’s point of view, introducing a radical shift in perspective.

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