Art & Design

INTERVIEW: How Tekla Is Reinventing the Home From Copenhagen

We caught up with Kristoffer Juhl, the Co-founder of Tekla, to discuss the label’s collaboration with the Finnish furniture studio Artek during Denmark’s 3daysofdesign festival.

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Since its establishment in Copenhagen in 2017, Tekla has risen as a trailblazer in the homeware industry, seamlessly blending modernity and a straightforward design expression. Taking inspiration from influential figures in art and architecture like John Pawson, Donald Judd, Le Corbusier and Agnes Martin, Tekla’s pieces have become a coveted addition to everyone’s homeware wishlist, marrying elevated aesthetics with functional brilliance.

Amidst the anticipation surrounding Denmark’s 3daysofdesign festival, we had the privilege of interviewing Kristoffer Juhl, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Tekla. Our conversation unveiled the collaboration between Tekla and the Finnish furniture studio Artek, revealing the labels’ synergy on timeless design and fluidity of expression in the realm of homeware.

Guided by the fundamental idea of home and the creative possibilities in designing a chair, Tekla showcased a curated selection of hand-picked pieces from the Artek 2nd Cycle collection within its recently opened store in Copenhagen. A standout highlight of the exhibit was the Stool 60 Kontrasti, a special design introduced by Artek to pay homage to the iconic Stool 60’s venerable 90-year history. Seamlessly integrated, the furniture harmoniously coexisted with Tekla’s core offerings, infusing each item with its own unique character.

During the interview, Juhl delved into the profound significance of the collaboration for the esteemed textile label, emphasizing Tekla’s steadfast commitment to exquisite craftsmanship and the creation of enduring designs that withstand the test of time. The installation located at Vognmagergade 7 in Copenhagen is still open to the public until June 17.

Keep scrolling to read the full interview.

tekla artek 3daysofdesign copenhagen kristoffer juhl interview

Umit Savaci/Tekla

How do furniture and homeware contribute to making a house feel like a home, and in what ways does minimalism have the ability to influence lifestyles?

When engaging with our community, it’s clear that the role of the home is more important than ever, and that personal expression and emotional connection are what make it special. The feeling of what makes a home is individual, but we know that textiles play a vital role. We allow for greater expression through our clear range of colorways and create textiles that embody the emotive qualities of home, such as bedding that retains the feeling of freshly washed sheets and soft towels that provide comfort after bathing.

The minimalism at the heart of Tekla, exemplified by our minimalist image of a bed, is not only a homage to our architectural heroes and references but also an approachable way to present our products. We allow our audience to imagine their own Tekla universe by removing any noise.

This is also how we approach product design. Functional and minimal products, as well as aesthetics, make it easier to select high-quality pieces that add meaning to your life instead of adding unnecessary objects that can clutter.

tekla artek 3daysofdesign copenhagen kristoffer juhl interview

Umit Savaci/Tekla

Collaborations are undeniably a significant pillar of your unique selling proposition. Whether it’s with street style icons like Stüssy or prominent figures in the design sphere such as the Corbusier Foundation and John Pawson, what is so special about reinterpreting their vision through sleepwear and bedding? Would you say that by doing so, you are carrying their legacy and keeping their vision alive?

We collaborate with like-minded members of our community and those we admire because it gives us the chance to emphasize specific shared values like quality, longevity or rational beauty. In reinterpreting our collaborators’ vision into home textiles, we allow more people to share and embody these values. We make John Pawson’s architectural work more accessible, give early members of Stüssy’s community the chance to bring Stüssy into their adult lives or create our own expression of Le Corbusier’s iconic work, making it relevant today. Our hope is to create pieces that honestly reflect the point of commonality between us and our partners, carrying their legacy and keeping their vision alive.

tekla artek 3daysofdesign copenhagen kristoffer juhl interview

Umit Savaci/Tekla

Could you tell us more about the upcoming collaboration with Finnish furniture design company Artek? What brought both brands together? What makes 3DoD the ideal venue to showcase the new collection?

Tekla has long admired Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, drawing inspiration from the quality and rational beauty of his iconic designs. In preparation for 3daysofdesign, we were humbled and proud to be able to showcase archival pieces from his collection with Artek. These pieces were carefully curated from the Artek 2nd Cycle catalog and displayed in the newly opened Tekla Copenhagen store. Both Tekla and Artek design with longevity in mind, creating functional homewares of uncompromising quality. This partnership feels like a natural extension of our shared values of craftsmanship.

3daysofdesign is an exciting celebration of Nordic design values, making it the perfect venue to showcase our collaboration. It provides a platform to pay tribute to the Nordic design great, Alvar Aalto, and highlights our dedication to honoring his legacy.

tekla artek 3daysofdesign copenhagen kristoffer juhl interview

Umit Savaci/Tekla

Tekla holds a B Corp certification, aligning with a global movement of individuals who utilize business as a force for good. How does sustainability manifest throughout the brand’s range?

We acknowledge that being B-Corp certified is only one step in our journey toward being more responsible, and we still have a long way to go. To minimize our impact, our first step is always designing with quality and longevity in mind, aiming to extend the life of our products wherever possible. We also encourage proper care of our pieces as part of this approach.

We predominantly use lower environmental impact materials, such as certified organic cotton, and we have invested in switching to preferred materials throughout our core collections by 2025. Additionally, our products are made in Portugal or wider Europe, allowing for greater transparency of our supply chain and more responsible production processes.

These are just some of the ways we are striving to mitigate our impact and promote sustainability. We are committed to improving our practices and look forward to continuing our efforts in this regard.

tekla artek 3daysofdesign copenhagen kristoffer juhl interview

Umit Savaci/Tekla

What is a common misconception about pre-loved furniture, and why does it signify a significant shift in our consumption patterns and perspectives on design? Moreover, what opportunities does the second-hand market present for designers?

There is a misconception that pre-loved furniture is dated or of lesser quality due to use. However, services like Artek 2nd Cycle maintain the highest quality while providing incredible access to archival pieces, such as Alvar Aalto’s designs. These timeless pieces remain relevant today and have stood the test of time. Furthermore, pre-loved furniture offers customers the added benefit of mindful consumption, allowing them to make sustainable choices and reduce waste.

When opening Tekla Copenhagen, it was important to furnish it with pieces that reflect our approach to design and appreciation of aesthetics. This is why we chose to collaborate with Artek 2nd Cycle to source Aalto’s stool 60, along with gathering vintage pieces from iconic designers like Le Corbusier and Rietveld, among others. These archival pieces have been a tremendous inspiration for us and have helped us express Tekla in new and tangible ways.

The second-hand market presents significant opportunities for designers. They can take inspiration from design masters to ensure their own work stands the test of time, reducing their environmental impact. By embracing pre-loved furniture and incorporating sustainable design principles, designers can find new forms of expression while promoting a more sustainable and circular economy.

tekla artek 3daysofdesign copenhagen kristoffer juhl interview

Umit Savaci/Tekla

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