VIPP - a 75 year old company renowned for it's slick and 'Danishly' dark 'sexification' on a vast selection of everyday items and for it's most famous product - the VIPP household bin recently began offering a plug and play shelter for nature retreats priced at a cool 585,000 Euros. This Q&A with the company's Chief Designer explains the thinking behind this potential industry disruptor.
The driving ambition behind the Vipp shelter was the opportunity to match your kitchen and its accessories to your nature retreat. The result is a plug & play getaway, fully equipped. Morten Bo Jensen, Chief Designer at Vipp, is the creative force behind Vipp’s biggest product to date. Here, he unveils how and why Vipp's design philosophy can translate into a product family ranging from a bin to a shelter.
WHY A SHELTER?
You can ask ‘why a shelter?' But the answer is the same as when you ask ‘why a bin?' It’s the urge to do something better and different than what already exists out there. Yes, a shelter is a different size of investment than a bin, but the basic philosophy is the same; developing functional tools based on 75 years of know-how within steel manufacturing, where functional requirements and material processing define the form - regardless of it's a suction hook or a shelter. We felt that there was a market for a modern getaway, carefully thought out down to the very last detail, where the only choice left to the consumer would be where to put it.
HAVE YOU EVER IMAGINED DESIGNING A HOUSE?
Yes and no. Although it may be an academic consideration, we started out with our usual approach when we started working on the shelter, as if it was a product. The difference was obviously in the scale of the project, which was new for us. Basically, we see the house as a product (such as a caravan, yacht, private jet, etc.) and not as a piece of architecture. Therefore also the name, 'shelter'.
WHAT DOES THE TERM 'SHELTER' SIGNIFY FOR VIPP?
A shelter in its original sense has connotations of basic living serving a merely functional purpose and attending to our primal need of having a roof over our head. The starting point of the Vipp shelter is going back to basics; back to nature with basic functions defining a dense, compact space wrapped in the Vipp DNA with a clear aesthetic coherence and a use of solid materials. In this way, the shelter becomes a tool that facilitates a nature escape. The objective was not to make a house or a mobile home. Vipp is rooted in the manufacturing of industrial objects, so the term shelter is a typology that allows us to define this hybrid as a spacious, functionally generic, livable object.
WHY JUMP CATEGORIES LIKE THIS?
While being a direct continuation of the Vipp pedal bin, the shelter is a manifestation of Vipp’s grand vision. Our design philosophy is the rationale for jumping between traditionally unrelated categories. There is not an evident link between categories such as pedal bins, kitchens and shelters, but enter the shelter and the philosophy is omnipresent, embodied in the coherence between the kitchen, bathroom, its accessories and the shelter construction; all are functional objects, part of a common design language.
ARE YOU AN ARCHITECT NOW?
My job as Chief Designer at Vipp is to interpret and execute what the brand stands for. The shelter opens a new dimension for the Vipp brand and emphasises the way in which I think all brands should work with design; find and stick to the deep essence of your brand and use that as a platform for every new product. It is a kind of essentialism. Actually, I think the most major difference between the Vipp shelter and other prefabs available in the market is the fact that I am not an architect.
The shelter is conceived more as a product becoming one with its surroundings than a piece of architecture. We did not start out with a piece of land and customised a house on it with consideration for the natural surroundings. There is plenty of amazing architecture out there. We wanted to conceive something different; an escape in the form of an object designed down to the very last detail, where the only choice left to the consumer would be where to put it.
WHAT WOULD HOLGER NELSON (VIPP Founder) SAY?
Initially, he would be wowed, then a little scared. Holger was a pedal bin manufacturer and a metal smith, so he would probably not quite understand why Vipp would make a shelter. As a true craftsman, he would head directly for the steel and comment on the construction, the materials and the form.
HOW CAN YOU BUY THE SHELTER?
In theory, since it's a finished product, we would love to make the shelter avaible in our online shop. Imagine adding a shelter to your shopping basket. However, being a little bigger and more complex than a bin, we do require more information than just a delivery address. So first step is to get in touch with us.
Visit the website: www.vipp.com