Malene Hvidt on keeping her family's legacy alive
Malene Hvidt is very much a product of her father and grandfather, architects Henrik and Peter Hvidt. Her understanding of the skill of the hands and the use of quality materials is important to her work as an architect for the design studio Spacon & X, of which she is co-owner. Hvidt learned early on the importance of deciding what to surround oneself with in order to create the foundations for a good life. It is this understanding that she wishes to pass on to her son.
“I can still remember what it was like to sit on my grandparents’ sofa: the feel of the cushions and the different textures of the rug beneath my feet. I looked at their home, filled with carefully selected design and art, with equal parts fascination and curiosity. My grandfather died the year I was born, so I've always attempted to get to know him by exploring his home and the furniture and buildings he created.
I think that we are all looking to stand on someone’s shoulders. I have been lucky enough to have my family's legacy, which was noticeable very early in my upbringing. Understanding where you come is palpable when represented as a building or a piece of furniture. I practically grew up in my father's atelier and was fascinated by his ability to create—a bridge or a company headquarters that would stand long after him.
Just like my grandfather, we started out at Spacon & X designing interiors and optimising spaces but have since scaled up to create all kinds of architecture, but also design and art installations and fashion shows. All our projects must be long-lasting and materially responsible. We pay careful attention to the details and use solid, honest materials that will stand the test of time.
It is only now that I truly understand just how much my father and grandfather have shaped who I am. My grandparents’ approach to creating a home has really inspired the way I want to live. I am fascinated by everyday life, which is why I love creating homes. I think that the most noble thing one can create is the framework for a good life. An understanding of craftsmanship and how to work with different materials is also something I grew up with. That’s why I’m proud that my father and I reproduce my grandfather's furniture so that it can live on.
I hope my son, Eli, is similarly inspired by his upbringing—without it dictating the direction his life will take. I would like to pass on to him consideration for the skill of the hands; from the way glass is mouth-blown to a joint in a piece of furniture. Also, an understanding of how everyday objects create the framework for your life and why it’s important to consider the things you surround yourself with. I can already sense a joy in him when he sees something being created—from planting seeds in the garden to carving wood with his father or observing me while I work on a project.”
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