To Sleep, Per­chance to Down­load

DAN­ISH DE­SIGNER METTE HAY AND CHEF FRED­ERIK BILLE BRAHE WANT TO FIRE UP YOUR KITCHENWARE

Newsweek - - NEWS - BY MARY KAYE SCHILLING @Marykaye4real

ANDY WARHOL painted his first Camp­bell Soup can in 1962. The rea­son was sim­ple: He liked soup. He claimed to have eaten it for lunch ev­ery day for 20 years. The 32 paint­ings (each of the fla­vors avail­able at the time) gave beauty to the bla­tantly mun­dane, what we take for granted; it was as if we were see­ing these cans for the first time.

Could you do the same for a veg­etable peeler or a cheese grater? Mette Hay and Fred­erik Bille Brahe—sim­i­larly en­tranced by the or­di­nary— be­lieve you can. She is the co-founder of the Dan­ish de­sign com­pany Hay, which, in its 15 years, has be­come a global force in af­ford­ably ex­cep­tional de­sign. He is the chef and owner of two pop­u­lar restau­rants in Copen­hagen, in­clud­ing the trend-set­ting Atelier September, which of­fers high-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents at rea­son­able prices. Their sim­i­lar philoso­phies were first matched in 2016, when Bille Brahe opened a pop-up café at Hay’s Mi­lan De­sign Week ex­hi­bi­tion. Now, they have col­lab­o­rated on an am­bi­tious col­lec­tion, Hay Kitchen Mar­ket, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing you need to make a meal, then eat it.

“Peo­ple put so much ef­fort and money into mod­ern­iz­ing kitchens,” says Bille Brahe, “and then they fill the draw­ers and cup­boards with the same unin­spired, hap­haz­ardly col­lected equip­ment.” Worse, he says, most of those pieces fail two ways: They’re in­ef­fi­cient and aes­thet­i­cally bland. “As a chef, I know what works. I know the de­sign for a peeler or cut­ting board that func­tions best, but it can also be a beau­ti­fully de­signed object.”

Mette and her hus­band, Rolf, founded Hay in 2002. She over­sees ac­ces­sories; he han­dles fur­ni­ture. All of their prod­ucts, from tooth­brushes to chairs, have a clean sim­plic­ity, in the Scan­di­na­vian mod­ernist tra­di­tion. There are no state­ment pieces, just the trans­for­ma­tion of the worka­day into some­thing well crafted, pleas­ing and un­ex­pected, with bright pops of color, even the oc­ca­sional note of hu­mor—like a vase that looks like a tree trunk. Sim­i­larly, Hay Kitchen Mar­ket merges “util­ity with joy”—the lat­ter ap­par­ent in sur­pris­ing shapes, tex­tures and a wide color pal­ette. “We wanted to make it a lit­tle fun to do dishes,” says Hay.

The col­lec­tion in­cor­po­rates in­flu­ences from around the word—sponges from Ja­pan, hand­blown glass­ware from Morocco, wa­ter pitch­ers from In­dia—with pieces ei­ther cu­rated or rein­ter­preted by Hay’s net­work of noted in­ter­na­tional crafts­peo­ple (in­clud­ing Big-game, Clara von Zweig­bergk and Ge­orge Sow­den), rather than de­sign­ing ev­ery­thing in-house. As a re­sult, the var­i­ous el­e­ments have an in­ten­tional har­mony with­out the matchy-matchy monotony of other col­lec­tions. “What I’m proud­est of,” says Hay, “is that no mat­ter how you com­bine the pieces, they look nice to­gether.”

Hay Kitchen Mar­ket makes its de­but this month at the MOMA De­sign Store in Man­hat­tan’s Soho, where it will be sold ex­clu­sively in the U.S. The lo­ca­tion was a nat­u­ral fit since it al­ready houses Mette’s con­cept store, Hay Mini Mar­ket, which sells hun­dreds of ev­ery­day ac­ces­sories. Hay and Bille Brahe see the launch as the first it­er­a­tion of an evolv­ing col­lec­tion. “We built it so you could in­vest in it slowly or all at once,” says Bille Brahe.

The qual­ity crafts­man­ship and rea­son­able pric­ing make the line suit­able for, as he puts it, both “the su­per­rich per­son in the Hamp­tons and a stu­dent liv­ing in Brook­lyn.” In the Hamp­tons, Hay adds, “the prod­ucts might be stored, but the stu­dent could dis­play them on the coun­ters or ta­ble to cre­ate a feel­ing or aes­thetic. Of­ten, it’s small de­tails that make a big change in the home.”

THE COL­LEC­TION MERGES “UTITLITY WITH JOY—WE WANTED TO MAKE IT FUN TO DO THE DISHES.”

Hay Kitchen Mar­ket will be in the MOMA De­sign Store, Soho, be­gin­ning Au­gust 22, with se­lect items avail­able on­line at STORE.MOMA.ORG.

TA­BLE SET: Bille Brahe and Hay in Copen­hagen; below, ex­am­ples from their Hay Kitchen Mar­ket line.

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