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Design Academy Eindhoven grad Lotte Douwes conspicuously challenges the notion of a wall outlet as an unattractive element never to be seen by putting the socket firmly on view with her self-named pendant lamp duo for Copenhagen's Menu. Sustainably-produced in light grey porcelain with a narrow tubular design, the hanging light and socket are meant to be positioned above a table or desk, acting as charging station for ever-present smart devices and laptops either at work or at home. As the designer herself says, pairing the socket with a pendant fixture encourages a more flexible environment, be it a private or a public space, and "enhancing the experience for all."
"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."