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To four design students, the second week of 2018 started pretty well. They were named winners of the 2017 edition of Designtalent under Lifestyle & Design Cluster.

In all its simplicity, the competition means that an established company in the furniture and interior industry is matched with a team of design students from the country’s design schools and programs. Then the students get a task by the company, which they must try to solve. The team with the best results wins.

Already now we can reveal that it was not an easy choice for the judges.


A bathroom furniture for younger families

KVIK makes, as many people are aware, kitchens, bathrooms and wardrobes as well as furniture.

The KVIK team of students consisted of Laura Mazanti Jørgensen (SDU Kolding), Sandra Kjær Bonde Mikkelsen (VIA Design), Mikkel Hjerrild Mikkelsen (DSKD) and Sofie Hundahl Ritz (KADK), who had designed a bathroom furniture specifically for younger families with children.

Both Claus Johnsen, Design Manager at KVIK, and the students was well pleased with the product.

“Working with the students has been a positive experience. Together they make a good team that confirms that they can challenge us on some of the things we do on a daily basis. It is really healthy for us as a company to be challenged from time to time”, says Claus Johnsen.

The students from team KVIK were also happy for the cooperation.

“It has been great to work on a product that should be highly realizable. We feel that we have succeeded. The job description we got from KVIK, was very clear, and it has helped to make the task very specific. At the same time, they have not been slow to ask us to push boundaries and “go crazy”, so something exciting comes out of the collaboration”, says Mikkel Hjerrild Mikkelsen from DSKD about the group’s collaboration with KVIK.


Physical distance is a challenge

The students were spread across most of the country physically, and that can be challenging

“The hardest thing for us has probably been to be physically present at KVIK, or just to be at the same place all together at the same time, as we are quite scattered in the country. KVIK has really helped us to let us have many of our common working days with them, which worked really well for us and our cooperation”, says Sofie Hundahl Ritz (KADK), Sandra Kjær Bonde Mikkelsen (VIA Design) and Mikkel Hjerrild Mikkelsen.

But even though they had some challenges, they would not have missed it. A feeling Claus Johnsen has as well.

“Of course, it is a challenge to take time from your program to work with the students, but it’s all worth it. The timing can be difficult, but we would have liked to spend more time with the students, then we could have made an even sharper product with the students than we did. We could easily come back to participate, but it depends on the calendar. Small changes will probably make the process even better, but we are certainly not dismissive”, says Claus Johnsen.


Very impressed by the data base

For the students at team KVIK it was a bit of a challenge they were faced with. None of them had previously worked with bathroom furniture.

“Designing a bathroom furniture was a great challenge. When designing furniture, you often think of designing a table or chair. This was something completely different, and it has given me a great insight into an industry I had not considered”, says Sandra Kjær Bonde Mikkelsen.

Insight was also one of the things that Claus Johnsen attached to.

“We were very impressed by the students’ footwork. They have spent a lot of time and effort to go into the physical world, do research and generally ask and listen to the needs of the target group in relation to the modern bathroom functions. They have been in many homes, with many families, and they have taken all this data and used it well in relation to their final product. It would be hard for us to find the time to do the same thing”, says KVIK’s Design Manager.


And the winner is…

The award for Designtalent 2017’s best project is awarded based on the following criteria:

– Best idea and concept

– Best design and aesthetics according to the given company profile

– Most realizable project

– Best team collaboration and workflow

The winner receives 16,000 DKK for sharing from Lifestyle & Design Cluster, while a gift card of 4000 DKK is awarded for “Best visualization and presentation”. Of course, with both prizes, a diploma follows.

The main prize went to Team KVIK, which among other things received praise from the jury for having made a product that was relatively easy and not least quickly realizable. The jury was also excited about the team’s analysis work.


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