The Story of Xtrakt
“My approach to design is incredibly unique.
I grew up around design and felt its importance so close to my life that it is almost impossible for me to turn my back on it. From early childhood, I was dressed in designer clothes and I had furniture designed by Wegner and Piet Hein in my room, while my friends had homemade corduroy pants and ladder racks.
At first, it was not something I paid attention to, but I had a feeling of being different.
During the weekends, I loved fiddling with the things on the shelves in my dad’s studio. It was a place, where I could manufacture and create everything. Get ideas. Get inspired. Lure my father to craft doll furniture. Best of all though, if I could get to participate in assembling a billiard table.
The teenage years kicked in and thus the rebellion. I secretly sold the designer furniture, while I bought H&M and IKEA designs.
Later on, the design returned to me little by little. If you are raised with quality in all aspects of your life, it is difficult to compromise later on in your life when you are on your own.
I grew up with the mantra quality over quantity. A concept I pursue myself and demonstrate to my customers. The best interior decoration is not obtained by purchasing everything at once. That is simply too boring. If the customer has a good starting point most of them are able to build on that foundation.
To me, it is not important, which designer created the product. What is important to me is that I feel something about a product or by a design and that the designer was thinking creatively...
And of course that the product is functional.
A chair should both be beautiful and functional.
There are too many examples of beautiful things that don’t function properly.
Design is not only for decoration – it has to be functional and durable.
To me, design is a kind of art, but then again –
the big producers have done extremely well to mass-produce
and market their products massively. It has been the one-sided development
of the design-industry, but it does not do anything good for design.
All the products from the big cooperations are so similar in their design
that it, in my opinion, becomes boring.
The small design manufacturers do exist though, but a lot of them give in
and join the big guys who eventually streamline their design to a large degree,
resulting in a lack of creativity.
I often feel that the customers are being defrauded. It is the big brands that are being sold, but it is not always the best designs.”
- Charlotte Stilling Piper -
Charlotte Stilling Piper designs the products and manufactures them in collaboration with smaller Danish companies. The products are simple and classic with a bit of edge.
The products have to be viable for many years to come, while all being multi-functional. Charlotte finds that it’s both fun and especially useful to design products, which can do and be more than one thing.
Simultaneous to designing and manufacturing products, Charlotte Piper does interior decorations for companies and private individuals, although styling jobs for interior magazines also sneak in once in a while.
Also for these jobs, the philosophy is very clear: durable solutions. Classic combined with raw. New and old. A home can never be constructed in just a few days.
What is happening in the housing tv-shows is strictly entertainment. It is not examples of homes that reflect personality, and to me, it is not homes that appeal to my heart.
At Xtrakt, we commit ourselves to design and manufacturing products that are viable for years while being multi-functional.
It’s very important to me that the products can be utilized in various places in the home and in different ways, and when we eventually move, the product can move with us.
It is therefore extremely important that the designs are simplistic with a slight twist. The designs should not dominate the room, but rather provide the room with a certain feeling.
Xtrakt’s products are manufactured in Denmark and that will always be the case.
We believe that if the smaller craftsmen do not exist in the future, there will not be anyone to help the crazy designers with prototypes, etc. If that is the future, the mass-produced design will only get bigger, and a lot will be lost.