After her classes at the Bauhaus school, in Paris with Jean Nouvel, and then in Japan working for international design brand, Gesa Hansen, the young Danish German furniture designer created her own brand in 2009. Inspired by Scandinavian design of the 50s and especially by the works of her grandfather, the carpenter, she chooses to sign her creations with the name «The Hansen Family» to pay tribute to her origins. With wood as the raw material, Gesa Hansen develops these sensitive and soulful objects that aim to ease daily life and build bridges between eras and people.
At Gesa Hansen, design is a family tradition, so it’s no surprise that she chooses to sign her pieces with The Hansen Family. From a line of wood craftsmen, architects and designers, the young Danish German confesses with a humble smile that she was «somewhat forced to do this job ». She tried to escape her fate by studying graphic design in the famous German Bauhaus school, but Gesa resolved to follow the family track from her first course in design, led by Axel Kufus «who for me will always be one of the best designers in the world» she says. After that she was an intern with trainer Jean Nouvel in Paris, she then spent two years in Japan during which she began working for major design brands. Upon her return, she moved to Paris and almost immediately decided to create her own label. «When working for major brands, we must always put ourselves in the mind of someone else, I needed to create for myself, but without making compromises. Her first project was a coffee table inspired by Charlotte Perriand.
« I saw the piece in a gallery in Paris, but when I asked for its price, it was obviously not realistic. Then I decided that I could just make it myself, but instead, I created a set of two tables to make it a bit different ! . The idea is simple and bright like the designer herself who draws the material for her new projects in her small hometown village in Germany. The workshop of her grandfather, and full of archives and treasures, is a source of inspiration for the young designer. «After the coffee table, I designed ‘Desk’ starting from a somewhat conceptual study by my grandfather on colours and their functions. The desktop storage fully integrates his work, ‘we will file important documents in the red bin’ for example … ».
As soon as she showed her work to the international exhibition of design in Cologne, the work of Gesa Hansen was spotted by Monocle and Wallpaper. Known for its crisp clear Scandinavian influence, the works of Gesa Hansen are alive and soulful. Wood is a precious legacy for her grandfather, the cabinetmaker, and the starting point of most of her projects; «For me wood is a magical element. When I was little and I wanted a toy, my grandfather would always build be one from wood, so I felt like we could do anything with this material.»Because she grew up on a farm in «the middle of nowhere», surrounded by trees, Gesa Hansen punctuates the urban environment with her wooden creations to create a breath of fresh air in an often all too busy space. Playful and talkative, this designer longs for a peaceful design like that of Jasper Morrison «that make daily life calmer with soft materials». In Tokyo, where she lived before settling in France, Gesa thrived on the serenity and respect of understanding materials.
À Tokyo, où elle a vécu avant de s’installer en France, Gesa s’est nourrit de la sérénité et du respect dans l’appréhension des matériaux
« In Japan, craftsmanship still holds a very important place… it’s crazy, they are much more patient than us! «. Today she cultivates her love of living things by working free hand
« I never use3D software: it’s me who decides what I want to do, not the computers! ».
With grace and ease, Gesa reinvents the memories of her childhood on paper, which then take the form of objects. As a keen sailor from a young age thanks to her father, the yachtsman, she uses and recycles typical Danish vessels, similar to those on which her father worked all winter «The feet of my Dining Table, for example, are made from the inverted trestles that hold the boat to the keel. The drawers of my dresser ‘Log’ are inspired by the traditional hulls of the sailboats from my childhood … «Shaped around a thousand and one memories, the designs of Gesa Hansen have an authentic and catching charm. Mainly due to it’s family ties, the label «Hansen Family» continues to grow as the designer makes her creations with the help of surrounding herself by a close-knit family. Among which, there is now the decorator Pascaline Feutry and artistic director Ai Birh, with whom Gesa signs interior architecture projects, the architect Vincent Eschallie with whom she is currently working on the decoration of the new photo gallery, Yellow Korner, or even with Benjamin Biolay for whom she still finds time to sing …
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