Guest speaker at Belgrade Design Week, the Danish designer Ole Jensen talked about how the ordinary becomes the extraordinary. It is exactly what the world of his design is all about.

Ole Jensen is a renowned Danish ceramist and designer. He was educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He quickly began collaborating with Bing & Grondahl (now Royal Copenhagen), became co-founder of the Showroom of Art gallery, and project leader at Denmark’s School of Design in Copenhagen (The Institute of Product Design). He is also a Member of the executive committee of the Council of Arts, Crafts and Design, Academy Council for Public Art and Design, Member of the Associations of Danish Designers, MDD. He is a recipient of the Danish Arts Foundation’s Lifelong Artist Grant, and many other scholarships and awards. At this year’s Belgrade Design Week, he spoke about his own approach to creation in the field of visual arts.

Long ago, in the early days, he defined his style as a splendor of simplicity – a luxury of minimalism. His approach to product design is a result of his attitude. He describes himself as a man who is constantly in doubt. That is why for Ole Jensen the research process is continuous. He is inspired by the reality of daily life and ordinary things. That very perception is the key to his aesthetics. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary. The daily reality is in the process of perpetual change. This is the origin of new forms and functions of objects that an ordinary person uses every day, unaware of their versatility.

He is most creative when he listens to Bryan Wilson, whose music helps him concentrate and focus on the object he works on. He always succeeds and that is in line with his motto that enthusiasm must always win. Aware of the richness of Scandinavian or Nordic design which has given to the world many artists in this field, he loves to talk about his country. According to Ole Jensen, the best three things Scandinavia offers are the weather, the feeling of belonging and the relationship with the environment. “We care about the things that surround us”, says the designer who, aside from his native Scandinavia, also enjoys traveling to Rome.

Ole Jensen collaborated with many prominent companies throughout Europe, such as Royal Copenhagen, Louis Poulsen, Muuto, Normann.

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Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!