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Menu is one of the most emblematic brands on the Scandinavian design scene. Its success story began in 1988 with the Irish coffee set designed by Bjarne Hansen, a real best-selling item.
Menu’s beginnings actually date back to 1979 when it was trading as the Danish Steel House, a firm that manufactured iron and steel products for the Danish catering industry, then directed by Simon Hansen.
From here, ten years later, came the inspiration for the name Menu. This disyllabic word is as easy to memorize as it is difficult to find on-line, without first finding thousands of lists of dishes and desserts.
Menu Scandinavian Design is a niche brand. You can find it if you appreciate its style, you will look for it if you already know it exists. It’s revered by the expert design lover but unknown to the general public. Simplicity, a select choice of colours, the aesthetic relies on voids rather than solids: these characteristics aren’t for everyone
In 2004, Menu became part of the Scandinavian Living group and the Hansen family sold shares to various noteworthy designers, as well as launching the production of contemporary accessories, something that gave lustre to the brand.
Menu’s philosophy is in line with its style: clean and simple, the kind of simplicity that can seem close to naivety, but which belongs, rather, to the world of enlightenment. Menu is part of the world of normalized complexity, stripped of whatever could seem superfluous or irrelevant.
In spite of the fact that making the world a better place isn’t simple at all, this Danish brand has always chosen understatement, with a straightforward and sincere design style, which can even laugh at itself and this translates into the products’ ironic asides.
You need to have a lot of talent and experience. Menu works in partnership with the most promising Scandinavian designers and it’s constantly scouting for skilled local craftsmen.
The well-known designers that work with Menu include: the much-praised Scandinavian designer Pernille Vea, the established Italo-Scandinavian duo Gamfratesi (who can claim to have worked with some of the top contemporary design brands like Gubi, Cappellini, FontanaArte, Casamania), the collective Norm Architects, Grethe Meyer.
But though it works with some of the most established names in the business, Menu invests in the new generation too: emerging young talents on the international design scene, especially chosen to inject new life into the brand’s distinct identity, a partnership which Menu fosters and strengthens in an almost obsessive way.
Menu Space is Menu’s new showroom in Copenhagen and it also includes a coffee shop. Because Menu, starting from the name itself, is all about sharing.
The showroom, designed in partnership with Norm Architects, aspires to be a focal point for the creative community that gravitates towards this iconic brand. A new touch point for the end consumer, a hub where creative talents can compare and discuss views, a workspace for professionals in the field and interior design, at the disposal of those designers and associates who feel up to rethinking the layout.
So that Menu Space will always be
Jan & Henry
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