Susanne Grønlund

U.S.A. (1958)
Susanne Grønlund
Susanne Grønlund is an accomplished furniture and industrial designer with clients around the world and many awards to her credit. But her path to success was anything but direct. Early on, her focus was fashion. “At the age of around 8 or 10,” Grønlund says, “I designed my own wardrobe, making it directly out of old sheets and clothes without any pattern, just my scissors and the machine. And my friends didn’t even believe that it was made by me.” An attempt to study fashion at the college level ended in disappointment and sent her in another direction.

She turned to working with children, had two of her own and eventually resolved to pursue design. At 29, she was accepted into the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts to study textiles and related disciplines. “When I finally started, I also began a long journey experimenting with all kind of materials and constructions, moving from the world of fabric and arts and crafts to fashion and ending up on children’s products, industrial design and finally furniture.”

That circuitous path to furniture design, however, paid an unforeseen benefit. “It has given me a quite free and unschooled approach to the furniture world,” Grønlund says, “and a broad-spectrum knowledge about materials and constructions. This is maybe the best gift to my design work: that I am able to make crossovers between different approaches to the product development field and find new ways to go. Flying straight is not always the best.”

Working out of her studio in Aarhus, Denmark, founded in 1991, Grønlund has designed for Softline, Frederica Furniture and the Naver Collection, among many others. Her honors include four Norwegian Design Council awards, three Red Dot Design Awards and two Good Design Awards. Grønlund was born in Bloomington, Indiana, while her father was pursuing an academic degree and just a couple of years later the family moved back to its native Denmark, where she’s lived since.

“My job is to improve people’s surroundings when it comes to aesthetics, functionality, tactility and sustainability,” Grønlund says. “That is the reason for choosing this work. It gives me a deep satisfaction to contribute to the world by optimizing people’s surroundings and making the world a better place to be.”
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