Ask og Eng
Something that all the time used to be complex and complicated is now both simple and sustainable — how an architect and an environmental geographer set about changing nowadays kitchen design. It is about the use of Nordic craftsmanship into contemporary design.
Ask og Eng workshop and showroom are located in Oslo, 40-minute commute to Drammen - the hometown of its founders.
The need for simplicity and design
The venture Kine and Kristoffer set sail to originated in their difficulty in finding a beautiful and functional kitchen. Not finding a satisfactory enough design, they decided to build it themselves. Thinking of making bamboo kitchen and furniture available to others also was the beginning of Ask og Eng. They both confess that they were a little naive going into it but with the help from family and friends they succeeded not only creating something special and sustainable for their own home but for many other.
Japanese design influence
The quality of Japanese carpentry design has a great influence over Kristoffer’s design approach as many modern Scandinavian classics are strongly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic.
The bamboo is reaching the essence of function in an uncomplicated form.
Bamboo is the base material for Ask og Eng philosophy; it is a beautiful material, really durable but in the same time sustainable. Bamboo is a type of grass actually, which grows up to a meter per day. In comparison to trees, which take about 50 years to be harvested, bamboo is ready after 4 years. Also the production process releases less CO2 than the plant absorbs over its life span rendering it carbon neutral overall. It is also important to mention that the bamboo riches the development speed without the need of artificial fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides. Not only the bamboo is a sustainable material, but the studio works with only certified plantations to assure that it is also produced responsibly.
The wonder weed influences the design thought process also inspiring through its grain and processing process possible patterns together with minimalist thinking associated with it. Natural, organic, simple, are all notions related to the material on which the studio relies on.
Colour and texture variation is another challenge Ask og Eng overcame on their way of transforming modern kitchen design by using the natural tones of bamboo.
Design credo and inspiration
The knowledge about their clients life habits and ways to use their kitchens is central to their design approach. Involving the client through the entire process they give the proper attention to the space, style and function, considering material efficiency and leaving behind unnecessary details.
Kitchen is not the only product of the Scandinavian studio: shelves and dining room tables are also part of their lineup. Sustainability across the entire process naturally lead to diversifying the product range. Reusing the technology for bamboo panels and optimising the expenditure of available resources established a really comfortable lineup of furnishings.