Scandinavian Simplicity and Modern Expression. Exploring Key Works By Cecilie Manz.

Scandinavian Simplicity and Modern Expression. Exploring Key Works By Cecilie Manz.

by Ben Downey
Scandinavian Simplicity and Modern Expression. Exploring Key Works By Cecilie Manz.

Reflecting the essence of uncompromising craftsmanship in both accessory and furniture designs, Cecilie Manz is considered to be one the leading Danish furniture designers of her generation. 

With two artist parents, Manz encountered the world of design in early childhood in their workshop. Her own career began in 1992 with an academic education from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Following a semester abroad at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Manz started her own company, which has been the focus of her work ever since.

Initial sketches of Manz's Minuscule Chair for fritz Hansen, a usage sketch depicting a person in a domestic setting and a drawing of leather piping detail.

The Old-Fashioned Work Approach. 

The Danish designer’s universe revolves around her love of art, and the names of her products are often tributes to her favourite creative minds. In some ways, Manz’s work approach can be described as old-fashioned: she always works alone in her Copenhagen studio, produces her drawings on paper, and carries out the shape-making at her workshop in the studio’s basement.

“I view all my works as fragments of one big, ongoing story, where the projects are often linked or related in terms of their ideas, materials, and aesthetics, across time and function,” Manz has said.

Over the course of her career, Manz has shown an impeccable ability to create lamps, ceramics, accessories for the home, and furniture design – always with an emphasis on uniting the Scandinavian tradition of simplicity with a modern, international expression. While her work tends to abide by a ‘form follows function’ philosophy, each design is also imbued with a serene beauty. Her pieces are understated, yet present themselves to the world with an artistic twist. 

A Profound Sense of Details.

Manz strives to combine conceptualism with the Danish penchant for durable materials and sublime craftsmanship. In her lighting designs, she has continuously worked to develop lamps that do not steal attention from the light itself, rather ensuring that function always prevails. As her Mingus™ pendant illustrates, Manz’ designs for Fritz Hansen are defined by an innovative, simple aesthetic and a profound sense of detail. 

Mingus P1 ans P2 variants.

When she and Fritz Hansen launched the eye-catching, timeless pendant Caravaggio™ in 2005, it was an instant success and gained the status of a design icon. To this day, Manz’s lamp, which lends a modern expression to a recognisable shape, is a hugely popular item found in private homes, boutique stores and office spaces in Denmark and abroad.

This signature aesthetic is clearly visible in the designs Manz has created for Fritz Hansen’s Objects collection. From ceramics to lighting, seating to storage, Manz has designed various pure, practical and narrative objects to play a role in our everyday lives. She has applied her clean, modern sensibility to earthenware vases and bowls handmade in a traditional pottery studio in Seto, Japan, as well as to poufs – all similar in shape to stepping stones. 

Manz’s designs for Fritz Hansen have also included the Essay™ dining table, a solid yet light design and a perfect example of her approach, with its simple lines and sparse form. Following a typically Danish furniture tradition, Essay™ combines curiosity and innovation with sculpted elegance and soft forms.

The Never-Ending Talent.

Manz is an award-winning designer and a master of modern minimalism. She continues to surprise us with designs in new shapes and materials, as seen in her newest collection for Fritz Hansen. Fritz Hansen’s latest accessories launch includes Manz’s signature Pouf in a limited edition Dusty Rose grained leather with a velvet-like touch, and a new rug collection that plays with geometrical patterns and tactility, proceeds from which support children’s education in Nepal.

Limited edition Pouf in Dusty Rose.

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