Jacob Jensen’s coffin design

Coffin design isn’t something that we come across everyday, which is why the news that Danish firm Jacob Jensen Design has ventured into this area came as a bit of a surprise. After all, the funeral industry is a rather traditional one, and a delicate one to tackle.

Working alongside coffin manufacturer Tommerup Kister, the Diamant Series has been designed, in the words of company director Timothy Jacob Jensen, to be more like ‘the next home rather than a final one.’

He continues: ‘This is an area which demands great reverence and respect, but it seemed to me that the classic and simple form language that has characterised our designs, suited very well indeed.’

 

The funeral collection of coffins and urns breaks with the usual understanding of a coffin while being immediately familiar. They are made from Nordic Birch plywood, breaking from the traditional use of valuable hardwoods, for a more sustainable approach.

The wood is cut by craftsmen in Denmark, various facets are then assembled by hand and finished with laquer with either black or white silk matt water-based paint.

Inspiration came from the shape of a diamond – a simple and stately shape that symbolises purity and light. Jensen believes it expresses a mood of respect and quiet beauty, and a perfect combination of form and feeling.

The designs works on the contrasts between light and dark, light plays in the facets of the diamond, and despite sharp angles the coffin attains a harmonious sculptural expression. The highest point in the coffin follows the heart line, and the surface is such that a single flower can be placed there. The urns follow the same clean lines, timeless design and respectful ethos.

The coffin interiors are upholstered with a modest, butterfly-patterned organic cotton, inspired by the wild surrounds of the Jensen studio in Hejlskov, and there to symbolise the soul leaving the body, combined with the diamond form create a vision of nature as both transient and eternal – a very ancient idea.

‘This has been a true design challenge, as our funeral rituals are still surrounded with taboo and mystique,’ admits Jensen. ‘However, I was certain that we could create, with integrity, a lasting design combined with proper respect for tradition.’

Nargess Shahmanesh Banks 

This is an interesting film about the family-run Danish coffin manufacturer Tommerup Kister and their collaboration with Jacob Jensen Design to create the Diamant series. ©Directors Susanne Aichele & Eliza Schroeder.

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