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A case of avian modernism? The birds visiting your garden will appreciate these sculptural digs riffing on the famed Barcelona Pavilion that German architect Mies van der Rohe did for the 1929 World Expo in Barcelona. Constructed from robust acacia wood harvested from sustainable European forests, the house’s feeding table is under the roof, where bird food can be placed on two spikes under protection from the elements. The bath sits out in the open, and the basin can be easily removed, cleaned and refilled. Menu produced this for fellow Dane, architect-product designer Monique Engelund.
"It's about creating aesthetically pleasing designs that evoke true feelings,” Menu founder Bjarne Hansen told the online magazine Lonny, “as well as improving processes in people's daily lives.” Ranging from tabletop objects to bath fixtures to lighting and furniture, the Danish brand’s pursuit of "soft minimalism" involves collaborations with designers from all over the world. The company’s guiding spirit is a quest for functional originality—with each product having either a new purpose, incorporating a new material or utilizing a new production method.
Menu is just as dedicated to responsible manufacturing as it is innovation. Working to locate new partners in developing countries around the world, the company searches out local factories or small private co-operations to turn out high quality goods and also provide a better economic foundation for the people involved in that production. "We’re passionate about design, new materials and clever details," say the folks at Menu, "and we dream about making a difference."
"The purpose of my designs is not just to create products that make life easier and the world around us more beautiful," says Monique Engelund. "I believe that the things that we surround ourselves with can be much more than that. They can inspire and challenge us." The Danish architect/product designer fulfills that goal by using both her design skills and her architectural background. A playful approach and a desire to create pieces that make a lasting impression are the cornerstones of the Aarhus School of Architecture graduate’s design philosophy. From her Copenhagen studio she originates her projects for clients such as Menu and Bolia as well as large-scale furniture installations for her frequent exhibits.