HEE WELLING — Interview


Hee Welling

Industrial designer from Copenhagen.

This interview is made in collaboration with the Vevey based design store Kizuku.
Noémie and Jean, the founders of Kizuku offer an incredible selection of Swiss and international design brands like Muuto, ACE or Karimoku New Standard. We are associated with them to promote some talented designers.


Hello Hee Welling, how are you?

I am fine, thanks. After a busy 2013, with a house project on the side, I am looking forward to get started on some very interesting projects this coming year.

Can you introduce yourself?

I am 39 years old and I am living with my family, my wife and 3 kids, just outside of Copenhagen. I am educated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Copenhagen, Denmark), department of furniture design, in 2003. I established my studio just here after, with base in Copenhagen.

Tell us about your experience and approach to design?

I am raised within the Scandinavian design tradition, so I have learned to seen the beauty of the simple objects, with a clean expression, functional use and logic details. Every day, i try to create simple and useful design, that hopefully will reach out to a lot of people and last many years.

Where does your interest in design come from?

My father was a cabinetmaker, so ever since I was a kid; I played around in his workshop, creating different objects. Besides that I spent hours drawing, almost every day, so it has always been obvious for me that I wanted to do something creative.

Can you tell us more about your projects with HAY?

My collaboration with Hay started with the wire chair (Hee chair). I met Rolf and Mette Hay at the fair in Copenhagen in 2004, where the chair was exhibited at the “talent zone” (an area for young designers) and they showed immediately interest in the chair. After 5 minutes, discussing the project, I knew that I met the right manufacturer for the chair. I have never met anyone, with that kind of enthusiasm and knowledge, regarding design and manufacturing. So the day after we started up the project and one year after it was shown at the fair in Milan. It became an instantly success and have been ever since. A year later we started working on a series of chairs, from the beginning including a chair shell in plastic, with and without armrest, and a few different bases. Before the chair was presented for the first time, we were struggling with a name for the project, but suddenly Rolf called me said he found a name – About A Chair, because that was what it was all about – telling a story about a chair. Since shown for the first time, the series has been developed into more than 30 different products, including different shells, upholster, bases, a series of tables, lounge chairs etc… and it has become one of the best selling items in Scandinavia.

Do you follow any kind of manifesto?

We are always seeking for simple, logical and useful solutions. And we don’t believe in trends, but in long lasting products.

Do you have any advice to give to students and young designers?

Work hard, talent and luck is a very small part of the game, but hard work will always pay off on the long term. (And as Boris Becker once said: the more I practice, the more lucky I get). Set yourself some milestones, so you always know what you are aiming for. – What inspires and influences you ? Everything inspires and influences me – an everyday problem, architecture, art, some beautiful lines on a car, graphic design, the complexity of nature etc.

Which books are on your bedside table?

At the moment no books, I have a daughter 9 month old and she keeps us awake at night, so I use every available hour to get some sleep.


>   heewelling.com


This interview is made in collaboration with the Vevey based design store Kizuku.

Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 03.14

Portrait by Marie-Louise Munkegaard. Design ©Hee Welling.



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