In honor of Elle Decor’s inclusion of Overgaard & Dyrman’s Wire Sofa in this month’s What’s Hot, we have published the latest in our “13 Questions” interview series with Creative Director, Steven Miller.
Answers by Jasper Overgaard and Christian Dyrman (OD)
SM: What is your (or the firms partners) background(s)?
OD: Prior to founding O&D with Jasper, Christian worked in the product development department of a Danish textile and furniture company. Christian holds a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture and Spatial Design from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from Aalborg University, and an earlier education as a blacksmith. Jasper worked as a Senior Product Designer within the design and furniture industry at a strategic design consultancy in Copenhagen. Like Christian Jasper holds a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture and Spatial Design from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from Aalborg University.
SM: How did you come to found Overgaard & Dyrman?
OD: In 2004 we had both decided to become engineers. Accidentally we were put in the same study group on the first day we entered Aalborg University. We have been working together ever since. At the end we didn’t end up as engineers, but instead we both finished our studies in Copenhagen with a Master Degree in Furniture and Industrial Design. After that Christian moved back to the northern part of Denmark and Jasper stayed in Copenhagen. Even when separated in each part of the country, having two different jobs, our spare time was continually used at common projects. A quote by Tony Robbins was a pivotal point and gave the final push for our joint design dreams: “Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” In Jan. 2013 we both felt that the time was right to quit our jobs (which were definitely great jobs) – and that became the beginning of Overgaard & Dyrman.
SM: What is it that most excites you about the work you do? what part of your process is most exhilarating?
OD: To be able to create new things from scratch on our own terms is very exciting. A very exhilarating thing is to work with both a detailing and a holistic approach at the same time – that is how we think truly great thing can be achieved.
SM: What do you do to “re-fuel” your creativity?
OD: It’s not like we have a certain procedure for re-filling creativity. Sometimes it’s just there. Often it has something to do with new inputs and for us they might as well appear on a walk in the neighborhood as on a travel to other parts of the world. But when it happens it often results in sleepless nights.
SM: We at the NWBLK believe that most people interested in architecture and design are also interested in other pursuits like food, fashion, music and technology. How do these things weigh in to the way that you think about your creative endeavors?
We often get inspired and motivated by people who are really dedicated to, passionate about and skilled at what they do whether if it’s a musician, chef, artists, writer etc. That also reflects how we want people to see us. We could write a lot to this topic. People that inspire us the most are the ones dedicated to what they do. That is people who do not compromise, who do not always strive after the easiest or cheapest solution but rather goes after the best solution.
SM: Who’s work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
OD: Old school craftsmen always make a great impression to us. We don’t idolizes one specific superstar, but are more picking extracts from different peoples approach and work to find inspiration for our own work.
SM: In what ways do you give back to your greater community? Do you teach or are you involved in sponsored events or fundraising? Do you have a charitable cause that you like to contribute to financially or otherwise?
OD: With our approach to design and manufacturing we hope that we can inspire others to strive after a passionate way of living based on thoughtful consumption habits. We hope to be able to also contribute in a more directly sense when our company has grown into a stronger position.
SM: Many people that we talk to have said the travel is very important to their inspiration. Are there places that you like to go for inspiration?
OD: Traveling is always a great way to broaden your perspective, and there are infinite places we would like to explore. We love to travel, and for us great inspiration often appears when discovering new places. But as mentioned we might as well find inspiration in our own backyard as at the Grand tour through Paris etc.
SM: Do you attend tradeshows or fares; fashion week etc. when you travel?
OD: We like to exhibit at places that stand out from the crowd. This means places with a little edge that gives us the opportunity to tell our stories in interesting surroundings. In some way we do not really fit in at the big tradeshows and fares. Therefore it’s also these kinds of often smaller and more unique places we search for when travelling.
SM: What are your favorite magazines? Digital or print?
OD: Monocle – A global magazine with great balance between good stories, fine graphics and beautiful pictures.
SM: What is your favorite color?
OD: For us there is not one favorite color that stands out from the rest. It’s all about the context it is used in.
SM: What’s the NWBLK?
OD: The new black is to approach the world with more consciousness and conscience, to value diligence and to be open-minded and transparent in what you do.
The Wire Collection by Overgaard & Dyrman is exclusively available in the United States through the NWBLK. Visit the nwblk.com for more information.