Is there still a real difference between art and design?

Studio Roso is a Design duo based in Denmark. Their work is based on site specific one piece projects.

XXX by Studio Roso will be featured in the exhibition THIS IS DENMARK hosted at Alcova for the Milan Design Week 2023

The dialogue between art and design is an ongoing story. The separation between the two disciplines is becoming more and more fluid, as designers love to work on collectibles to pursue their personal research and to experiment on new materials and manufacturing processes at their own pace. 

0. Dealim Mirror Chandelier by Studio Roso _ This is Denmark _ Milan Design Week 2023
Dealim Mirror Chandelier by Studio Roso

Studio Roso, a Danish design studio, is trying to walk on the thin border of the two practices, making a step ahead in what seems to be a possible alternative to dealing with industry.

Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen founded Studio Roso in 2010 in London after graduating from the Royal College of Art, the name being the clustering of the initials of their names. 

This is Denmark _ Milan Design Week 2023
Telstar installation by Studio Roso

Sophie sold her final year project to Lance Clark of Clark Shoes, who was installing an art collection in the Somerset headquarters, London. The meeting was also the occasion for the first commission to Studio Roso and the beginning of its research on site-specific design.

Intuition and osmosis for self-initiated projects

Our work is intuitive,” explains the duo. “It is based on osmosis and random thoughts, often bringing us to very unexpected results. The research starts from very illusive and fleeting ideas, then we develop it sticking to our principles. The process of experimentation is long: we often change, retest, rework up to the last minute.” 

2. Mirrors by Studio Roso for FRITZHANSEN
Mirrors by Studio Roso for Fritz Hansen

According to Studio Roso a concept can be developed in many different versions, so the first idea may be just the outset for something very different. Or may end just as it began during the first approaches to the project. 

Site specific design has a very peculiar context and its own developing process. 

Many Studio Roso’s projects are the result of a collaborative confrontation with all players involved. 

We listen to all opinions and collect information from the client and the manufacturers,” Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen explain. “We relate with the site, the environment and the function of our commission. The whole process informs the final work and when we work with a furniture brand, as happened with Fritz Hansen, we seek its advice and collaboration to grant the success of a product. But at the bottom of it all there is our voice, our choice”.

INSTALLATION REFLEKTOR by Studio Roso _ This is Denmark _ Milan Design Week 2023
Installation Reflektor by Studio Roso

An autonomous expression of talents and competences

Currently, Studio Roso is moving towards more and more self-initiated work to nurture its creative basis and to make its own vision evolve. But at the bottom of it all, the research is integrated in new commissions and independence and autonomous self-expression still is one of the main studio’s values. 

We do not take direct inspiration from some specific artist or designer, although we love the work of many people, especially the ones who speak with a clear and bold voice to manifest their ideas,” say the Studio Roso founders.

Tube And Ball Sand Stone limited edition piece
Tube And Ball Sand Stone limited edition piece by Studio Roso

We really, really like the old, good Verner Panton. With the tech in the world, contemporary processes and digital manufacturing, he still is a non conventional and very emotional creator of furniture and spaces. He stands for anti-modernism, contradicting the rational functionalist Danish attitude. He was able to show us a different side of our design culture.”

This is Denmark exhibition, staged at Alcova during the Milan Design Week 2023, wishes to offer an overview, through 15 selected objects, of how contemporary Danish creators and companies interpret today the key values coming from their national heritage.


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