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On International Women’s Day, we bring your attention to five female designers whose work spans several generations. These women have challenged the status quo and created extraordinary designs that withstand the test of time. 
As one of the few female architects and designers of her generation, Bodil Kjaer never actually had a career plan as such. She has simply been driven by the urge to set new standards and to improve herself. One of her most recognised designs, the Cross-Plex™ table lamp, is a brilliant example of her mission to design with only the absolute necessary. Bodil Kjær says that she has a ‘problem-solving approach’ to design. She finds solutions to ‘functional, economic and aesthetic problems’ and she refers to her own designs as ‘elements of architecture.
Bodil Kjaer

Anne Qvist’s designs express a sense of pragmatism combined with respect for both craftsmanship and context. She believes in adaptability and believes design should enter many different contexts with a high level of functionality and humanity. You may recognize the AQ01™, a popular lamp used in offices and homes around the world, designed by Anne Qvist.  

Anne Qvist

Sidse Werner studied at the school for architecture and industrial design in Copenhagen. In 1970 she established her own drawing office and went on to exhibit designs in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hannover, Tokyo, Stockholm and Milan. In her spare time, Sidse Werner enjoyed skydiving. You may recognize Coat Tree™, one of Sidse Werner’s iconic designs within the Fritz Hansen collection. 

Sidse Werner Portrait
The young design duo Ahm & Lund won first place in the lighting category on Denmark’s Next Classic, a TV programme that brings Danish rising stars together to compete in designing the next, great classics of Danish design.

Currently, they’re finishing their winning lamp design – the Clam (‘Musling’ in Danish) – for Fritz Hansen’s collection. The lamp is inspired by a seashell and, like a shell hides its pearl, the striking lamp hides its light source and can be opened and closed for more or less light. 

As a designer, Mia Lagerman views her constant development - from the creation of the idea, through to the production and the final result - as a journey towards achieving the best results, and where dialogue with collaborators and the development of new methods are a vital part of the process, always with the end-user in mind.

‘That’s when everything comes together as one. It’s best when it’s explained with few words, when you can understand it without a lot of long explanations, images and texts,’ she says. 

Mia Langerman
Born in 1918 in the Danish town Svendborg, Grethe Meyer was the daughter of a lithographer and a pianist, inheriting technical and artistic gifts from her parents. She studied architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and was the only woman to graduate in her class of 1947.

In 1960, she founded the design studio Grethe Meyer Design and went on to create stunning designs for renowned Danish brands such as Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen. Grethe Meyer’s designs have a deep respect for the concept of the Danish home, reflected in their simplicity, functionality and timelessness.


The design might be Danish, but the materials used by the sustainable clothing brand, aiayu, come from all over the world – amongst other places Bolivia.

aiayu was established in 2005 and launched their first collection of knitwear with the mission of producing exclusive designs, created with respect for the environment, raw materials and healthy working conditions.

aiayu means ‘soul’ in the language of Bolivia’s indigenous Aymare people and underlines the passion put into every product from the brand.

aiayu’s philosophy is aesthetics, authenticity and sustainability, which permeates everything they do. aiayu is a company founded on ethical and responsible production in Bolivia, where the raw materials also are sourced. All the brand’s knitwear is made from the unique lama wool, Cashlama, from the Bolivian highlands.

aiayu portrait

The Danish designer’s universe revolves around her love of art, and the names of her products are often tributes to her favourite creative minds. In some ways, Manz’s work approach can be described as old-fashioned: she always works alone in her Copenhagen studio, produces her drawings on paper, and carries out the shape-making at her workshop in the studio’s basement.

Over the course of her career, Manz has shown an impeccable ability to create lamps, ceramics, accessories for the home, and furniture design – always with an emphasis on uniting the Scandinavian tradition of simplicity with a modern, international expression. While her work tends to abide by a ‘form follows function’ philosophy, each design is also imbued with a serene beauty. The pieces are understated, yet present themselves to the world with an artistic twist.

Cecilie Manz portrait

Strong, simple and poetic. This is the best way to describe Monica Förster's work. The Swedish designer has gained international recognition for her ability to create modern, functional designs with a poetic twist. 

Indeed, it was early on that design became a natural interest for Monica Förster. Her aptitude for creativeness and design took on an additional edge during her studies at two of Sweden's largest design schools, Beckmans and Konstfack. Her talent quickly won recognition, and thus the Monica Förster Design Studio was established in 1999.

Monica Forster

Wednesday Architecture is a Danish multidisciplinary design company based in Copenhagen. 

They work with a sculptural and architectural offset, which evolve vibrant ideas for unique objects, limited editions and objects for industrial production. Their aim is to enrich people’s surroundings through an edgy and ambitious sustainable design approach.

In their small workshop, they produce their objects. They have a passion for traditional manufacturing methods and seek the sustainable limits in all our products – honest and pure. 

Portrait wednesdayarchitecture