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THE DESIGN CHASER

An Introduction to The Nord Agency

4.19.2021

Launched in 2019 by Sally Morrison and headquartered in Sydney, The Nord Agency represents Scandinavian furniture designers and manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand. Working alongside retail partners, as well as the architect and design industries, Nord has been on my radar for some time, so I’m excited to have teamed up with them to share some insight, including a closer look at the two iconic Danish brands they exclusively represent, Skagerak and OGK for Skovshoved Møbelfabrik.

OGK day bed for Skovshoved Møbelfabrik


Sally founded The Nord Agency after six years in Europe working as an interior designer and brand agent for Scandinavian furniture and homeware manufacturers including Skagerak, Woodnotes, Iittala, Carl Hansen and String. Bringing home an in-depth knowledge of Scandinavian design and mid 20th century furniture, she started Nord with the view of sharing this with the Australian and New Zealand design market. 

I know from personal experience that spending time in Scandinavia opens your eyes to the rich history of design and craftsmanship, cementing the importance of original, long-lasting design and sustainability. For Sally, this mindset also comes from her upbringing in an architectural family. The early introduction of both mid-century architecture and design has resulted in an innate appreciation of the importance of original design and these elements are now intrinsic to her own design ethos. I love that The Nord Agency stands for original and authentic design, working with the view to educate people in Australia and NZ, both consumers and producers, to act more responsibly. Nord also advocates for the change of legislation in Australia and New Zealand to that of the UK and Europe, where it is now illegal to sell and manufacture replica furniture.

Vent bench by Skagerak 


Perfectly aligned with this ethos are the two brands from Denmark that Nord represents. Sharing some information on each below, I've also styled a favourite product from each of the collections.

Skagerak  

For Danish brand Skagerak, sustainability is at the heart of everything they do. For the past fifteen years, they have actively sought a sustainable path, and genuinely believe that they can make the world a better place if we try harder – together. Frequently adjusting their organization to meet a greener reality, Skagerak also helps their customers to do the same. In 2020 they initiated two new services — Reclassic allows customers to sell their furniture back to Skagerak, which they then restore and resell, recirculating the furniture and achieving an even longer lifespan, and RENT is a concept that offers a rental option for outdoor furniture, allowing customers to change out furniture regularly and avoid the challenge of winter storage, while at the same time acting responsibly. These initiatives, which lead them to win Green Brand of the Year 2019 at the Bo Bedre Awards, are not yet available in our part of the world but have the potential to expand globally. 

In 2001 Skagerak became FSC certified, each year increasing its share of responsibly sourced wood. They are also members of the UN Global Compact and are a B Corp business. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. What this means for Skagerak, is that if the product can’t be made sustainably and to the standards of B-Corp, the product is dropped from the collection whilst they pursue an alternative way to make the product to their required standards. Admirably, Skagerak is less concerned with making a profit from a well-performing product, if it does not perform well to their environmental standards.





Visiting the Skagerak flagship store in Copenhagen during 3daysofdesign in 2017, I will always remember CEO and owner Jesper Panduro's passion for creating timeless, sustainable products for the home. I'm incredibly excited that the collection is now accessible to us and I'm thrilled to have introduced one of my long-time favourite pieces from the collection to our home, the Vent Bench designed by Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm.

Following on from the Vent Stool, named after the Danish word for ‘wait’, and originally designed for museum-goers as a place to have a seat while allowing the impressions to sink in, the Vent bench is a two-seater with the same minimalist expression. Made with the highest level of craftsmanship, I love its sculptural feel and woven seat. The latter is made in Denmark in collaboration with Blindes Arbejde, a sheltered workshop for people who are blind or partially sighted. A beautiful addition to our home, this is a true forever piece.  





OGK by Skovshoved Møbelfabrik

The most recent client to join Nord's portfolio of sustainable Scandinavian design furniture and homeware brands, Sally says “I’m thrilled to be working with OGK. The Nord Agency only works with brands that meet very strict criteria when it comes to vision, mission and brand values. OGK has all these qualities and it will be fantastic to introduce its products to our design community.”



The OGK range consists of two products designed by Ole Gjerløv-Knudsen in 1962. The day bed, which is intrinsically ‘Scandi’ was designed by Ole for his son’s school camping trip. His father designed a lightweight bedding solution to protect his son while sleeping on the cold earth. A bed, which could be carried easily and erected within minutes, to give a comfortable night’s sleep. The sister product is the Safari Chair, with the same lightweight frame, it is portable and can also be quickly and easily erected. The frame comes in two colourways: natural and black-stained beech and matching canvas fabrics: natural and black.




Never has there been a time when sustainable and natural materials have mattered more. OGK and Skagerak have beautiful stories behind their brands’ creation and now stand as established success stories in product design as well as durability and sustainability.


The Nord Agency operates a by appointment show room in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney. 
To set up an appointment to view the collection, or for more information on the brands, visit The Nord Agency. 

 
Styling and photography by Michelle Halford / Studio TDC

AD / This is a paid partnership post. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

 

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