Monthly Archives

May 2015

Said and done

The left-over butter

May 30, 2015


One night, when the boys were really in despair (not that there has only been one of these situations) and pulling their hair, discussing the limit of prizes of a piece of furniture like their own, Christian said:

”What the hell do I know. I come from a family where we are used to scraping the left-over butter back into the box.”


Looking back

Asian attempts and Danish determination

May 25, 2015


Well, the idea for the Wire Collection, or actually just for the Wire Dining Chair, appeared, while the two boys were studying. We know that by now.

When they graduated, they started each their job. Jasper as a Senior Product Designer at a strategic design consultancy and Christian as Industrial Designer and Project Manager at a textile- and furniture company. While working here, Christian and Jasper were contacted by a design brand, who wanted to bring them and the chair project into their business. So the chair project continued on the side, and the guys were still working at their regular jobs.

They made, what they call ”idiot-proof production material”, which was sent to India.

”But what came back wasn’t even near what we wanted it to be,” says Jasper and adds:

“We learned something about how complex the development from drawings to the end product is. But apart from that it really was a lousy product and a lousy communication.”

Later on some other company was interested in Christian and Jasper and the chair. They tried the same ting – this time with China. And the same result: A completely hopeless prototype was returned.

”They just didn’t understand the whole idea of it. And I think deep inside we knew that they wouldn’t succeed, but we were running out of options and just really wanted something good to happen,” Jasper remembers. The craft itself was miserable. The communication was ridiculous.

”We’ve spent so much time making this material, so that it would be easy for them to produce. But they didn’t time reading it. They didn’t understand the importance of quality.”

Christian and Jasper still believed in the product. And all the interested companies (there were more than these two) confirmed their belief. Apart from the belief in the product itself, something else grew: the urge to control the whole thing themselves.

The guys never liked the concept of drawing and developing products and sending them off and then being out of the process.

”We wanted to get sore muscles and blisters on our hands rather than ending up with RSI from using a computer mouse,” Jasper says.




Where do ideas come from?

May 20, 2015


”Well, it’s hard to say what inspires you to something particular. We both have a passion for traditional handcraft, details, materials and structural elements. But it’s hard to pinpoint the exact inspiration.” This is Christian contemplating.

I guess it is a hard question to answer. Because where do ideas come from?

Something which is obvious to both the creators and the spectators of the Wire Collection and Jasper’s and Christian’s work in general is the structural backhand. These guys want to optimize constructions. But the forming is just as important. What do the materials do? How are the ergonomics? How do we combine those two things? How do we make it both comfortable and functional, beautiful and sustainable?

This vision is probably also the reason that Christian and Jasper in one of their study projects made a tall toddler chair.

”That is the ultimate challenge. There are so many demands and needs. So many aspects to consider. And it still needs to be an aesthetic piece of furniture.”

Apart from the demands of flexibility, ergonomics, hygiene, safety and aesthetics, the guys made another challenge for themselves: the toddler chair had to be completely foldable, so that you could bring it in your car or stow it away, when it wasn’t needed.

Christian and Jasper are perfectionists. They are always looking to improve. Some people ask why they spend time and money changing details like a millimeter in a small joint part, when nobody will ever notice.

But the two of them will notice. It means everything to them that it feels right. And if you don’t adjust all the small things, then at one point you have destroyed the entity.

”You just know when you have reached the right solution. It’s dead-awful to make something and know there is something better out there,” Christian says.

It’s not all idealistic glory and pink skies, though.

”We can get nauseas about our difficult solutions ourselves too. But that, then, is what justifies us being here. That we don’t choose the easy way out. We are suckers for slow design. Not that it has to be slow, but the things we choose to do just are slow. It takes time to find a solution to the challenge. And we want the best solution. Not a compromise. Not a quick-fix.”

Going on

Going big and actually letting go

May 10, 2015


The guys have decided that they will make a grand effort for the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2016, and the preparations have already started. In order to make a cool design for the fair, they have met with a company, which specializes in walls. Also for the first time Christian and Jasper have put some of their “always do it yourself” aside and have hired a professional photographer. They both agreed it was amazing to have somebody with the right skills and equipment take the pictures and do his thing.

“Actually it was kind of an eye opener for me to see, how important it is to delegate some of the assignment, if we want to grow bigger. Until now we’ve had no other options than doing everything ourselves, but now I think we are heading towards a new phase, where we can focus on the things that we do best and let other people do what they do best.”

Looking back

When the dream started to grow – part II

May 7, 2015


[continued from here]

But at one point Christian and Jasper started to enter into the realms of design. They found the space and time to immerse themselves into a new world. And into the idea of being a vital part of this world. It was an exciting, but still very vague thought.

However, the sense of reason was still there. A thin layer of reason and rationality wrapped around the big chunk of dreams and ambitions.

”It’s important to get some experience from the real world.”

”We don’t know if this is right for us.”

”Maybe we should become royalty designers and design for others. Like most people do in this industry.”

The idea of starting something together kept popping up. But it was shapeless. They didn’t know where to start or what to do.

So they finished school and had normal adult jobs within design. But at some point the urge to create something for themselves outgrew the ’Project Money in the Bank’. The dreams and ambitions conquered. One of the motivating factors were the many attempts from external design companies trying to put the Christian and Jasper designs into production via partners in India and China. This was not successful at all and caused a lot of frustration for Christian and Jasper. More about that later.

”At one point we realized we had to go all in to make this happen. Nobody else could do it, and we couldn’t do what we were really passionate about while having a regular job on the side. This epiphany was probably the first real ground stone for Overgaard & Dyrman.”

Looking back

When the dream started to grow – part I

May 4, 2015


The dream and the whole idea about building something wasn’t really about giving shape to things at the time. It was just as much about thinking alike.

”At that point we thought that we both had the same set of skills,” Jasper tells me. ”But later on we’ve found out that we have very different skills and we rely on each other and our abilities. Early on it was more of a clash and we could discuss even the smallest things forever, because no one would yield.”

What the guys did agree on, however, was how to work, how to use resources and the ideas of sustainability. They read a lot about it and kept gathering knowledge on the subjects of interest, and they worked together with Risoe Research Center, a Danish technological and scientific research institution, exploring the potential in shaping with biobased plastic.

But it wasn’t all highflying thoughts of an idealistic future and changing the world of design:

”I still have a piece of paper, which I gave to Chris and some other guys at the third semester in Aalborg. It was full of ideas that could be carried out and which would earn us some money. The title was ’Project money in the bank”, Jasper says.

“Later on I realized it had nothing to do with ‘money in the bank’, but it was all about the liberty to do something, I was really passionate about, without being limited by the demands and needs of others.”

[to be continued]