An Interview with Frama

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    Frama is a Scandinavian design agency based in Copenhagen. The studio defines their main interest as a dialogue between two opposite poles: classical and contemporary approaches, digital and analogue production methods. Focusing on solid materials with natural finishes and simple geometry, Frama has a straightforward approach to the aesthetics of design.

    While he was in Australia, we sat down with Patrick Coard, Head of International Markets to discuss timelessness, Copenhagen cafés and the differences between Australian and Scandi design styles. Patrick was visiting with Great Dane Contract, presenting the Frama range to interior architects and designers in Melbourne and Sydney.


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    What is quintessential Scandinavian design?

    For Frama, finding the right balance between a classical and contemporary approach to the objects we create is quintessential. We try to work as much as possible with different designers, architects and craftsmen,and combine materials and finishes of a solid, true and sustainable nature. Local, and what we call “slow” manufacturing is also an important part of our process, as it sustains the soul of the design, from a sketch on a piece of paper to the hands of the end user.

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    How do Australians use Scandinavian design? Is it different to what you might see in Copenhagen or Stockholm?

    Due to our long history of modern design compared to other countries, it’s not easy to talk about generalities. I believe our aesthetics, and ways of designing are slightly more grounded than in Australia. Scandinavian design has a focus on simple forms and structures, sending a strong message to the users. Also the access to natural materials is different between the two continents as well as weather conditions that makes something more natural for Scandinavia and vice versa.

    Although we have a common fondness of natural and honest materials, I believe Australian design tends to be a bit more playful and extravagant when it comes to shapes and sizes, where Danish design is more conservative and grounded.

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    How do Frama’s collections vary from one year to the next?

    We are not a seasonal company. It’s important for Frama to curate our collection based on our approach and what we find to be modern archetypes. We try to create pieces that we can take pride in. It can come organically over several years or organically from a designer or craftsman we work with.

    The company thrives when exploring and pioneering. Our new brand St. Paul’s Collection including apothecary, literature and colour is an example of how we expand the Frama brand. We also like to explore existing design pieces such as our Sintra Table that now will be introduced in different materials such as a solid marble base or wood base, ceramic glass top or a wooden top. So we do not always seek new designs but work with our essentials and re-think what is already there.

    What’s a problem within your field/industry? What do you think the solution is?

    Frama doesn’t really like to focus on problems. We rather like to talk about opportunities.

    If we see a change or a problem in the industry, or in general, we see this a chance to adapt, re-think and solve. The field we work within is in constant motion and to stay relevant you need to be adaptable, while at the same time staying true to your chore and values.

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    Tell us a bit more about Copenhagen:

    Best place to shop design… Dansk Made For Rooms, Casa Shop, Illums Bolighus, The Apartment, Oliver Gustav and Etage Projects.

    Best place to eat… The food scene in Copenhagen is getting bigger and bigger each day. There are so many places to chose from: Madsvinet, Fiskebaren, Pluto, Gorilla and 20A are some of the restaurants that I especially enjoy.

    Best place to drink… Kind of Blue and Café Victor are both nice places to get a good drink. If you’re in more of a Parisian mood the French wine bar and interior shop Beau Marche is also a perfect place to get a glass of red wine and an authentic croque monsieur.

    Best place to stay… Here are three hotels in Copenhagen I enjoy: SALT, SP 34, Alexandra.

    Best place to be… There are several great places to relax and get inspired in Copenhagen, whether it is an interior/art café like Atelier September in the city centre, or a museum like Ordrupgaard, a short drive north for Copenhagen.

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