The furniture designer Ditte Hammerstrøm is the second person to receive the Walk the Plank Award. This will take place at a festive occasion at the Danish Museum of Art & Design in Copenhagen on August 28th 2008 at 5 p.m.
The Walk the Plank Award consists of a travel grant of 40,000 dkr to be awarded each year up to and including 2011. The funds for the award come from the auctions, held at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, of the unique pieces of exhibition furniture from the two Walk the Plank exhibitions at the Danish Museum of Art & Design in 1999 and 2003.
In 2008, the prize will be awarded Ditte Hammerstrøm (born 1971). Since her graduation from the Danish School of Design in 2000, Ditte has focused on designing furniture where she has both taken her starting point in the classic Danish furniture tradition and at the same time created her very own unique idiom, which is at the same time unconventional, feminine, and challenging. Ditte’s works reflect a refined craftsmanlike competence and knowledge combined with a unique aesthetics, which is both beautiful to look at and which tells a story.
Ditte knows what she wants to achieve with her work, and she does not compromise. Her work is an expression of both a sentimental soul and a rebel. Every piece of furniture is as much a work of art as it is a functional object, and her work is a far cry from the kind of streamlined life style populism with which the word “design” is often associated.
Ditte finds her inspiration the same way an artist does. With her heart and with her emotions. Most of Ditte’s works pose questions to our handling of everyday life rather than offering concrete solutions. Ditte has never been a believer in too definite solutions, which is a wonderfully refreshing trait in a designer. However, this is not a small challenge considering a traditional design context that is often liable to associating itself with commercial values, as Ditte’s course is not fit for being dictated from the outside. With Ditte’s design it is – thankfully – a question of “take it or leave it”. This designer has not pigeonholed herself but insists that intuition must be given just as much space in her work as reason. Here is no habitual thinking. Rather, there is refined details, material caresses, and, not least, humour. Altogether a brilliant recipe for furniture that both today, tomorrow and in a hundred years will be worth a closer study.
Therefore, Ditte Hammerstrøm is indeed a very worthy designer to carry on and improve the Danish furniture tradition, and it is the hope of the prize committee that this award will help lift her career to a new level – both at home and abroad.
Ditte Hammerstrøm will be thanking for the Walk the Plank Award with an exhibition at the Danish Museum of Art & Design from August 28th to October 26th 2008 and at Trapholt Museum from January 28th to April 26th 2009.
The award recipient has been chosen by a committee consisting of:
Bodil Busk Laursen, Museum director, the Danish Museum of Art & Design
Keld Korsager, director of Danish Furniture
Ole Rømer, head of department at Copenhagen Technical Academy
Mette Dalby, Curator, Trapholt Museum
Louise Campbell and Sebastian Holmbäck, designers and organizers of the Walk the Plank Project
About Walk the Plank
Walk the Plank came into existence in the late 1990’s as a co-operation and exhibition project consisting of furniture designers and cabinet-makers, who jointly challenged themselves and each other with regard to creativity and professional competences.
Each furniture designer was commissioned to create a piece of furniture out of a solid plank of wood – oak, beech, ash or maple – and with the aid of one, two, or even three, cabinet makers, their ideas have been turned into unique pieces of furniture.
About the Walk the Plank Award
The Walk the Plank Award is given to a cabinet maker and/or furniture designer who in his or her work is able to work in accordance with those principles that have been the foundation for the Walk the Plank project: A refined craftsmanlike standard and a thorough aesthetic appreciation – and not least the will, through her or his work, to walk the plank – in the most positive sense of that expression.
The intention is that the Walk the Plank Award will help create a continued focus on the great players occupied with Danish furniture design and will contribute to the continued development that is so essential if this small, but important, craft is to survive.
Louise Campbell and Sebastian Holmbäck