Carsten Michelsen grew up in West Jutland in a family with a long tradition in handicrafts. His ancestors were artisans responsible for Lønne Kirke church at Nørre Nebel, numerous houses and hand-crafted furniture that is still around 120 years later. While Carsten was at upper secondary school he spent his holidays working with his uncles, where strong views on lasting, durable design and quality became a natural part of his DNA.
Danish furniture designers and craftsmanship took on a key role in Carsten Michelsen’s life. His dream was to make a kitchen as a piece of furniture. And when he stood at the old saw in the workshop in Vestergade, Aarhus with a square door cut from one piece of solid wood, he had a composed, well-defined geometrical form that generated the simplicity and visual calm that makes a design pleasing to the eye for many years.
The task now was to unite the simplicity in the design with a resilience in the materials and craftsmanship. The aim was to create a carpenter’s kitchen that could last an entire lifetime. The solid wood front frame gave the edges of the Form 1 cabinets additional strength. The visible wooden frame also gave the furniture exactly that expression Carsten Michelsen was looking for. All the joints had to be stronger than the wood, and the kitchens were built using traditional carpenter’s methods with dowels, mortise and tenon and dovetail joints and tongue and groove – simply because it lasts longer this way.
He achieved the beautiful, uniform expression in Form 1 by applying veneer to the outside of the solid wood. Solid wood is naturally uneven in colour and structure, and without the veneer he would not have been able to achieve the desired uniformity with the veneer on the cabinet doors.