In one of our other blog posts, we talked about Danish design and how, despite the aesthetics of KLIP and KØL, that form absolutely followed function in their creation.
But, in this one we wanted to dig a little deeper because, when you do, this tension between form and function reveals itself to be somewhat of a fiction. Form is function and function is form; a point illustrated best in the world of sports. Watching Roger Federer play tennis or LeBron on a basketball court is undeniably beautiful, their movements a ballet of humanity’s kinetic potential.
And yet, they aren’t trying to look good. In fact, they couldn’t give a shit. They are trying simply to win by functioning at their peak.
So why do they look so good? Because efficiency is captivating. Federer’s backhand holds our attention because it is so successful in its aim, while LeBron’s game is like a piece of art because it is the ultimate embodiment of function. You could never choreograph a rival to appear more pleasing to the eye because any embellished movement you added would feel decorative and wasteful, and it is the same with Danish design. Here, beauty is not found in unnecessary flare but in an object’s humble performance of a task. That is the philosophy’s true innovation, redefining what beauty is.
And if beauty is derived from function then, if we may say so, our products are extremely handsome indeed. The sections of KLIP - the world’s best herb grinder - fit together effortlessly and could be assembled blindfolded, snapping shut magnetically without threads. It’s the same with the shape of the all-metal grinder, which has been developed ergonomically to fit naturally into the human hand. We didn’t need to create an object that was artificially pleasing to the eye. Instead, by crafting it around the structure of our fingers people are instinctively drawn to it – snapping the product into place without a single instruction.
Because efficiency is captivating. Federer’s backhand holds our attention because it is so successful in its aim, while LeBron’s game is like a piece of art because it is the ultimate embodiment of function.
KØL is no different. Even its shape is the product of hundreds of hours of iteration, finally arriving upon the exact surface area that optimally cools the herb as it travels through the aluminum and stainless steel pipe. Externally, the design is dictated by the placement of the hidden magnets which allow the product to be split and cleaned in a single easy motion. Even the bowl’s elegant leaf-like form has a job, matching KLIP’s funnel perfectly to allow for the easy transfer of herb and to prevent spillage.
None of this is ornamental. Not a single line or curve on either product is there for show. Both were designed, without compromise, to work. And yet they are undoubtedly beautiful objects that we want to display, touch and hold. But, the important distinction is that this is for the same reason we watch our favorite sports stars, not because they are trying to be beautiful but because they are trying to be the best.
And being the best is beautiful.