Margrethe Odgaard: Design that engages with society

Textile designer Margrethe Odgaard says success can be measured in how much a design project touches your heart.

Danish textile designer Margrethe Odgaard works to create interesting sensations in the user when they meet an object. Fascinated by the colour, surface and texture of materials, Odgaard’s style is often simple, playful and bold.

Odgaard studied at at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, and set up her own design practice in 2012. She claims to be constantly open to the inspiration around her, thinking of herself as a vessel ready to be filled with ideas borne from beautiful art, expressive music and interesting conversation.

“Whenever we create designs that talk to the human senses we enrich the surroundings and we give the user the feeling of being acknowledged as a human being,” says Odgaard.

In her career there have been two types of highlights: those measurable through awards and moments such as being selected for the Talking Textiles exhibitions by Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, and a second type of highlight that is harder to measure.

“When I look back on my career so far there is also another success rate that is not really accountable, it is when I know my heart has been touched.”

Odgaard is currently collaborating with bead-working women in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. She came up with a minimalist design for a lamp that the women create with beads. These women recently received a large order from Muji and the Conran shop.

“I know that these women will be taken care of for a long time, so that’s another kind of work that is very meaningful as a designer.”