It's no secret that lighting manufacturer Louis Poulsen is standing on the shoulders of giants, especially one by the name of Poul Henningsen. When asked what he ascribes the ongoing success of the company to, David doesn't hesitate in the least: "If I were to mention one single reason, it would be Poul Henningsen. He defined the path for the company, our culture and our DNA. He gave us the blueprint." Thanks to Poul Henningsen's genius, everything panned out beyond expectations as the company instantly hit a sweet spot that would only get sweeter with time. Honouring his blueprint resulted in a great number of timeless classics that all showcased an impeccable understanding of how light behaves in different settings. He was able to implement his insights into aesthetically pleasing designs that could transform and humanise the atmosphere of practically any space, even with the light switched off.
It is with good reason that Louis Poulsen has an interest in keeping their history and heritage alive by drawing inspiration from it when initiating new projects. According to David, Poul Henningsen's philosophy remains a steadfast point of departure: "It comes down to creating the right ambience at the right time in the right location for the right purpose." This is evident through all facets of what they do as lighting manufacturer who always strives to bridge the gap between their products and their communication. This is what David is in charge of. Along with a dedicated team, he uses his keen understanding of every business aspect to ensure that there are no discrepancies from initial ideation to final communication. In overseeing everything from end to end, David makes sure the product remains the fulcrum around which communication revolves. The product becomes the message exactly because it's predicated on a blueprint so undeniable that there is no need to fabricate a narrative. It already exists.
With an in-depth understanding of the product development from the get-go, design teams and commercial teams are able to stimulate one another, which is David's principal desire because, as he says, "it's all about synergy." This synergy is best achieved when getting rid of binary opposites; when understanding that elements that are seemingly contradictory don't have to be considered mutually exclusive. "We're not either craftsmanship or industrial production. We are not focussing solely on one or the other but on the tension between the two," says David who goes on to elaborate: "In working with dualities rather than black-and-white definitions that force you to choose between one or the other, you acknowledge in-between nuances. This is important because it's between opposites that interesting things happen; it is in the tension that new, great things arise."
"We know, as lighting manufacturers, that the duality between the design and the light is essential, but most people are not fully aware of the extent to which this is true until they experience it. Most people buy a product because of the way it looks, but once they realise the function of it, a whole new dimension is added. I think it's the same with ECCO. Initially, the performance of the shoe is not the reason for buying it because for most people it comes down to whether they like the design or not. Once they try ECCO shoes on and experience the comfort, they realise that there is this other dimension, which you, as shoemakers, are already aware of. Those secrets are difficult to communicate because the consumer is not interested in them to begin with. It all comes down to experience. In the long run, it will only strengthen the brand and people's loyalty around it because those very secrets that we know within our companies will lead to a quality product that people are sure to appreciate once they've experienced it."
Considering that these two Danish Modern heritage brands are both rooted in Danish society and design, there may be something to what David is saying: benchmarking products against clear-cut criteria — or secrets — is something that will incrementally resonate with people at large. Where Louis Poulsen lights impart a humanising ambience on any given setting, ECCO shoes provide a natural fit and feel that you — once you have experienced it — are likely to stick with because, as David puts it: "The beauty of an object comes from seeking the best solution for the function of it."