Danish design company, Normann Copenhagen, are on a mission to create original and innovative products in simple, contemporary designs that withstand the test of time. Founded in 1999 by Jan Andersen and Poul Madsen, the brand has worked with a host of leading and up and coming designers to make their products which challenge conventional thinking and make the ordinary, extraordinary. One of these extraordinary designers is Simon Legald who has created many of the brand’s best sellers. We talk design and super powers with him…
What or who first inspired you to become a designer?
Drawing was a passion of mine when I was younger, so I was sure that I would do something within graphic design. When I was around 20 years old, I took classes in various creative disciplines and found that I was much more interested in materials and 3D proportions. That was when I realised that what I really wanted was to work with product design.
What is your creative process and how long does this journey normally take for each product?
There is no general routine for this. It starts with an inspiration, which can come from anything really. I tend to always photograph things I see along my path, and my curiosity towards materials and shapes is often what sets off a project. Then there is a lot of sketching, rendering, prototypes, adjustments and tests. How long this process takes depends on the complexity of the product or the production and can be anything from 6 months to 5 years.
What lead to you becoming a designer for Normann Copenhagen?
I started working with Normann Copenhagen in 2011. I showed the founders some projects I had done, which they liked. The Sumo pouf was my very first design in production for Normann Copenhagen. It appealed to me how the company is open to change and trying new things. I have the freedom to pursue my ideas and work on a lot of different projects.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Try to ask me again in 25 years. I still feel like I’ve just started.
How would you describe your own design style and aesthetics?
I don’t see myself as having a specific style. It evolves every time I gain new experiences and delve into new projects. In terms of aesthetics, I believe that designs should have a long lifetime. This, of course, is not something you are able to control, but I do my best to make them simple and clean, so hopefully people will like them for years to come.
If you could be anyone for the whole day who would you be, what would you do and why?
Either a world leader so I can change something for the better, or just a tourist in the Bahamas, so I could relax a bit.
What do you think the future holds for your designs?
Hopefully a long life.
What has been the hardest challenge in your career and how have you overcome it?
I haven’t had a long career yet, but I guess mainly the requirement to change and reinvent yourself as a designer all the time can take up a lot of space in one’s mind and be tough from time to time.
If you had the chance to collaborate with another designer who would it be and why?
Maybe Ettore Sottass and Raymond Loewy - both are sadly dead, but they both worked in a very sculptural way, so I am sure I could have learned a lot from them.
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Flying and seeing the future, so I could get around fast and easy and be able to predict what and what not to do.