#CarcelPeople Portraits: Frederik Kofoed

Photography by Niklas Vindelev

You have a very interesting profile - Can you give us a short intro of who you are and what you do to kick this off?  

I am 27 years old, and I live with a small group of good friends in Vesterbro, near Værnedamsvej. My neighbourhood is one of my favourite places in Copenhagen and I like the local dynamic and interaction that is in the area. It reminds me a bit of my upbringing in Svaneke on the island of Bornholm.

On a daily basis, I study my Master in Cultural Heritage, Transformation and Restoration at KADK. I have previously worked with furniture design at studios in Berlin and Copenhagen and have a great interest in the field and the human scale. 

You have chosen to study transformation and restoration for your Masters -  what motivated that decision and how has it influenced your approach to your work? 

I have chosen to study transformation and restoration because it is exactly what makes sense for me, when dealing with architecture in relation to sustainability and cultural identity. When working as an architect, your work is never solitary and you build on existing structures and contexts. I believe that with a greater historic understanding of materials, craftsmanship and tectonics we can create better architecture and more sustainable cities for the future.

I have an interest in how different atmospheres are created through spatial work, how they change over time and in relation to other objects such as the human body. My approach to architecture is also very contextual. Whether working with big landscape structures or small pieces of furniture, I find it important to understand the architectural relations between layers and substances.

How do you find balance between functionality and aesthetics in your work?

For me, form, function and aesthetics are intertwined. It is the function and hence the form that determines the optimal material. When I work aesthetically, the material is always in focus, and both its tactile and tectonic qualities should be an integrated part of a design. Constructive tectonics can become important details, and tactile qualities should be easily sensed. Honest design without too much nonsense. Sustainability is always at the core of my work, and I really appreciate the graceful wear and tear of materials; like the beauty of an old staircase, used through centuries. 

What does Copenhagen mean to you and how do you think it inspires or shapes your work? 

In this part of the world we have a fine history of using values of honesty and humanism in our design. That inspires me to work with design and architecture that connect people and create coherence.

I use drawing, model work and photography in a combination, since I believe the translation between the different media is very rewarding for the design process. When working with different layers, the project becomes visible through the development of its own spatiality, materials and atmosphere. 

What is a dream project or collaboration for you? 

I do not really have a dream project or collaboration. Working with different professions is always inspiring and it challenges conventional thinking. I want to create reflection, both in the building culture and with objects.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Fashion sense. For me, it is about surrounding myself with satisfying design that makes sense to me. Satisfactory, as in function and material being connected. No matter if it's a pair of scissors or a shirt. With this, sturdy materials, sustainability and responsibility are important qualities.

What is for you a basic, essential clothing item?

A simple, knit sweater. I like unpretentious clothes that I know I will love for many years and that can also tell a story with substantial memories.