Few designers are as experienced in today’s world as Boris Berlin. Based in Copenhagen, he has numerous awards in his portfolio and continuously blurs boundaries between art and design. Originally from Russia, Berlin emigrated to Copenhagen in the 1980s and witnessed immense pressure on Danish designers to replicate the history of the masters of Danish Modernism. Working with, rather than against the pressure, Berlin took it as an opportunity to bring a global approach to his new place of residence, reinterpreting what it means to be a designer of Danish products.
“The pressure of responsibility to the previous generation was strong and for me that was visible. But as we moved on, another generation came through that were less connected to the masters and were more international in outlook. Design is a globalised industry – many different designers from all over the world are now designing for Danish design brands. Good design is always international in my opinion.”
His first collaboration with Icons of Denmark is the Ekko Sofa. An organically shaped, public space purposed sofa that works with architectural spaces through its clean-lined profile, and curvaceous interior form.
“When I started to develop my ideas for the Ekko, I wanted the product to be organic in line and shape, but within the interior of the product to still allow it to fit within angular or confined architectural spaces. The result was a rectangular, tight shape on the outside and a plush, organically shaped interior that supported the user.
I believe that the sofa connects with our bodies through its interior shape and the curved lumbar support on the backrest. When you think about it, your body can draw a clean line through the air, moving organically and not geometrically as designed by Pythagoras.”
Boris Berlin continues to foster his design practice by exhibiting globally and as a guest lecturer at multiple universities. He is the recipient of the Red Dot, German Design, Good Design awards as well as numerous others. Additionally, his products are within the collections of renowned institutions such as the MOMA and Indianapolis Museum of Art in the USA, as well as the Design Museum Denmark.