Form & Refine is a fresh Danish design company that passes on the craft traditions of various countries in the spirit of Nordic design. The first product launches include alpaca products from Bolivia, ceramics from Portugal and wooden furniture from Denmark.
THE STORY OF THE DANISH design brand Form & Refine started in the Bolivian highlands. The founding members Helle Herman Mortensen, Jonas Herman Pedersen and Lasse Lund Lauridsen traveled for six months in South America, particularly in Bolivia, where they stayed with alpaca breeders and eventually became friends with them.
The unique and exquisite quality of the alpaca wool, known as the Fiber of the Gods, and its importance to the local cooperative, stayed in the mind even after the trio had returned to Denmark.
“It was then when we created our brand: using the finest materials in the world, with nearby local production to ensure a low impact on the environment but also to ensure the local community and its social aspects”, founding member Lasse Lund Lauridsen explains the origins of the brand.
The company, founded in 2018, was named Form & Refine. Its design philosophy is based not only on Scandinavian aesthetics and premium quality materials, but also on ecological and ethical values: when materials are produced and refined in their place of origin, the carbon footprint of production remains small. At the same time, this strengthens the position and livelihood of the original handicraft cultures.
The design philosophy of Form & Refine is based not only on Scandinavian aesthetics and premium quality materials, but also on ecological and ethical values.
At present, there are two partners in Denmark: the Damsbo forest on the island of Funen is the source of wood for locally made furniture, including the sturdy Damsbo dining table, and the third generation of the Danish Werner family makes the Shoemaker Chair, originally released in 1936.
Form & Refine’s textiles, such as the Aymara blankets and cushions of alpaca wool, are made in Bolivia.
Lauridsen says that finding the right partners is often a slow and challenging process.
“Meeting the alpaca farmers in Bolivia only happen because we travel and got deeper and deeper into the country and culture. In Portugal we had to try so many artisans before we got the right one. However in Denmark we already had some good contact to specific workshops we always wanted to work with - we just had to present our idea and brands”, Lauridsen says.
The highly positive welcome received by the products has exceeded all expectations of the founding trio – for example, the first batch of alpaca blankets was sold out in a couple of weeks. Future plans for products include ones that utilize surplus material from factories, including a bag collection in cooperation with textile manufacturer Kvadrat and leather manufacturer Sørensen.
Form & Refine favorites
Text: Nora Uotila Images: Form & Refine