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April 2015

Going on

Film: Passion of the making

April 27, 2015

Billede 22-10-14 15.32.20

A part time filmmaker and old friend of Jasper heard about the O & D-project. And loved it of course. Just as much as I did, when I first heard of the story. So he and a friend of his decided to make a small movie about the Overgaard & Dyrman universe.

Two days of workshop, retakes, metalwork, leatherwork and cameras running resulted in this fabulous piece. It shows Jasper and Christian and the whole O&D universe in a very neat way:


Why so much talk about the good handcraft part II?

April 26, 2015



Over here Christian talked about what he called the ”rather highbrowed reasons” to Overgaard & Dyrman’s fascination with good crafts. Now for the down to earth version.

Christian is son of a craftsman, and Jasper’s dad has also been a handyman working on the old dairy, where the boys now have their showroom.

Also Christian is a black smith by education and has learned a lot about working with materials. He knows how they function and cooperate – probably in contrast to a lot of designers who are sitting at their desks drawing stuff, they hope will work in real life too.

”We are quite fascinated with the capacities of materials. We start off by thinking for instance ”what does wood do and how do we create the best possible solution with it?” instead of trying to force something on the material that it’s not capable of.”

Christian compares it to the fascination of 3D print today. With 3D print the base is the technology – what can you do with the technology of today?

”But at one point this will be accessible to everyone and will be obsolete. So we’re more fund of using the materials and their characteristics as a base.”


Other than that there’s a genuine and perhaps a bit old-fashioned fascination of the everlasting materials. Materials like leather, wood and steel.

”You can create something really exquisite. Not something modern, but something really really good.”

Lastly the fascination of the good handcraft is also a reaction to the buy-and-throw-away-lifestyle. Christian and Jasper make expensive products. Not because that’s what they want to do, but because what they make become expensive. Also this means that they don’t expect people to come back and buy their products. Obviously they would want people to come back to buy more of their products, but not because they break. Because of exactly the opposite.

”Hopefully they will have them all their life. And that’s wonderful. Maybe they can even pass them on through generations.”

But is that a business model, you might think?

Christian brings up an anecdote. An anecdote about the light bulb. It’s from a documentary that everybody has seen. Apparently. But I haven’t.


Anyway, the main point is that you can actually create light bulbs, which will last for 80 years. But of you do that, you can’t sell enough to make a business. So you design them to stop working after a while. Just like you, allegedly, do with cellphones and computers. Everything crashes once the warranty has expired.

”But we don’t want to do that. That’s not what we have based our business on. I don’t think it’ll end us. You’ll just have to constantly keep making good products. And then you’ll have to try to make things that are timeless. You don’t know if you are doing it, but you can try. And as long as you don’t base your products on trends, I guess the chance to be timeless gets bigger.”

Looking back

The meeting

April 24, 2015


Denmark is a small country. You will typically not be much more than somewhat 250 kilometers apart. With exceptions to every rule of course. But this was exactly what Christian and Jasper were, before they – by chance – met at Aalborg University in 2005.

Christian lived in Aalborg and was a blacksmith apprentice, but wanted to continue his education and applied to the Bachelor of Architecture and Design at Aalborg University.

Jasper, who lived in Copenhagen, has started a civil engineer education, but felt that the creative part was missing. The day before a five months journey abroad he applied to Aalborg University.  This was – by the way – a fact, which he hadn’t really considered, until the letter of acceptance occurred the next summer in Copenhagen and read that he was accepted to Aalborg University…four weeks before semester start.


Jasper and Christian ended up in the same group of six students on the first date, and it didn’t take long to recognize that these two guys had a certain shared way of thinking.

They kept choosing to be in the same group and constantly tried to get away with doing things together. They enjoyed working with others, but at one point it became a complicated matter to make six people with different ideas about design agree. So at the end, when Christian and Jasper’s classmates were probably getting tired of being abandoned by the duo, they picked up the academic regulations, read it closely and found a loophole, which meant that they from that time on could be a group of just two students. The Jasper and Christian constellation was born.

Christian and Jasper weren’t all happy about how the education was carried out.  They thought it to be unwieldy, and they didn’t appreciate the fact that you could finish an assignment just by handing in a 100 pages of report and never create a product.

They missed the workspaces. The hands on. The craftsmanship. So as they studied they were making all kinds of projects all around.

At the 7th semester Christian applied for an internship in Copenhagen in fall 2008, and in the spring Jasper applied to the Danish Design School in Copenhagen. They found an apartment, they could share, and the talk, the ideas, the thoughts and the plans of making something together grew stronger. After a while, in the fall of 2009, Christian decided also to apply to the Danish Design School. Overgaard & Dyrman was in the making.

Going on

Collaboration across countries and professions

April 22, 2015


A few weeks ago Jasper and Christian had a visitor at the showroom. Her name was Dagmar Kestner and she is a young fashion designer from Berlin. Dagmar Kestner is a part of the Worth Project, which is a EU-funded project focusing on making connections and crossing borders with design, craft and manufacturer across Europe.

Dagmar Kestner is not a furniture designer. But Jasper and Christian are fascinated with her techniques and the details in her work. In about six months the exciting collaboration between Dagmar and Overgaard and Dyrman will result in an innovative new product. And while Dagmar and a Worth Project representative were working in the showroom, Christian and Jasper had a chat.

“While Dagmar and the representative were working, and a painter was preparing walls for a photoshoot, we talked about how cool it was that things were happening without our interference. It’s just perfect to see the company evolve, even without our hands carrying out the work.”


Why so much talk about the good handcraft part I?  

April 16, 2015


“In the beginning we were really tired of the whole China- and India-scheme. Everybody sending their designs across the world to get manufactured, and it seemed like the whole process and approach didn’t matter. If people send their products away, they completely lose touch and don’t know anything about the handcraft or the process.”

Christian is trying to explain to me, why good handcraft is so important to Overgaard & Dyrman. Obviously the guys have been there themselves – in the China-India-game, but you live, you learn.

“But as somebody once told us: It’s so easy to say what you’re against and what you don’t want instead of what you love and want to do.”

So Christian wants to tell me what they love instead of what they don’t love. And he starts off with “the rather highbrowed part of the reason”, as he puts it.

Both Jasper and Christian come from educations where they learned a great deal about architecture, the history of design and about the thoughts from the past. And this was part of what intrigued them to look back. This and probably also a reaction to the world of plastic, we’ve experienced the past 20 years.

“What we’ve learned, when we look back at Danish and foreign traditions from around 1900 and in the golden age of the 60’s, is that people actually wanted to spend time creating things. If you take a walk around town and look at the houses – especially the houses before world war II, then you’ll see that it’s much more than the square boxy design, you see today. A man has spent time figuring out a beautiful pattern of bricks, unlike today when it is utterly boring. Cheap and effective, yes, but without identity.”

For Christian and Jasper it’s the same thing when it comes to furniture design. They feel that too many lean up against what they know and are afraid to actually be original.