The Danish designer behind Noma’s new interiors.
David Thulstrup is coming into his stride. Nine years after opening his eponymous studio in Copenhagen, having previously held positions at Jean Nouvel in Paris and Peter Marino in New York, Thulstrup and his team have gained a reputation for upending the dogmata of Danish design. His latest project—the interior architecture of the recently reopened restaurant Noma—was the perfect collaboration: a designer with his eye on the future joining forces with the pioneers of New Nordic cuisine. Here, Thulstrup reflects on how Danish design lost its colorful flair and explains why he teamed up with Brdr. Krüger, a century-old Danish design house, to produce his new Arv collection of furniture.
Is the way that a project looks ever an indication of how “good” it is?
“Good” definitely goes beyond looks. It’s all about how a space makes you feel. It’s easy to do something that looks pretty, but there has to be functionality and that can be challenging for the eye. I always put the project first, but we do live in a time of social media, and communication about what one does is extremely important. It’s definitely something I think about every time I do a project.
What did you learn from working with Jean Nouvel?
The importance of experiencing design—looking at who is going to live in what I’m doing, and how. Where does the soap go? Do you sleep on the left side of the bed or on the right, for example? Details were something that Jean really pushed, along with working with materiality to do so—leather walls, or marble ceilings.
How do you design your own way of living?
I reflect on my everyday life and look at my habits. Sometimes I’m conflicted because I like it very clean and minimal, but I also love all the things that make a house a home: the textures, the softness, the weirdness.