Kasper Salto

My way into design was through craftsmanship. I was trained as a cabinet maker at Jørgen Wolff’s workshop in Hellerup, Denmark. After finishing my apprenticeship in 1988, I studied industrial design at The Danish Design School in Copenhagen, spending a semester at Art Center College of Design in Switzerland.

After graduation, I was taken under the wings of Rud Thygesen, one of the grand old men of Danish furniture design. The four years in his studio were fundamental to my career. As a true mentor, he shared his craftsmanship, helping me to refine my skills as a designer. And he generously opened his network, introducing me to some of the key players in the industry. Among them Peter Stærk, the founder of the Danish furniture design company, Botium. Peter not only became a close friend; his company also manufactured RUNNER.

My career as a designer took off when RUNNER was spotted by Bjørn Stegger, then Head of Design at Fritz Hansen, at the Danish Cabinetmakers Annual Exhibition in 1997. Under the visionary lead of Bjørn, the collaboration with Fritz Hansen led to a series of products – the ICE-series, the LITTLE FRIEND table, the NAP chair and the PLURALIS meeting table – all manufactured by Fritz Hansen and sold worldwide.

Working in partnerships brings so many new perspectives. In 2004, I joined forces with my friend and colleague, architect Thomas Sigsgaard to set up Salto & Sigsgaard. Working across the fields of product design, lighting and interior design, we developed a series of solutions for Danish and international companies. In 2011, we entered the prestigious competition, New Furniture for UN’s Trusteeship Council Chamber in New York. Designed by Finn Juhl in the 1950s, this room and its furniture counts as one of the Danish architectural masterpieces outside Denmark.

Designing the Council chair was an exciting challenge. Winning the competition was a huge honour, which opened new opportunities. Among them, the collaboration with Onecollection, the manufacturer of the Council chair and its extended family; the Mindcraft exhibition for Danish Crafts at The Salone di Mobile in Milan; new furniture for the foyer in Vilhelm Lauritzen’s ‘Radiohuset’ (former HQ for the Danish Broadcasting Company), and restoration projects for The New Carlsberg Foundation at their residence in Copenhagen.

Working under my own name, I continue the collaboration with Fritz Hansen, developing new projects as well updates to previous Salto designs. Recently, my passion for promoting design that’s functional and sustainable has resulted in the co-development of the UV BENCH – a piece of furniture that doubles as a disinfection solution – produced by the Danish UV technology specialist, EFSEN.

Beside my design projects, I’m proud to be on the boards of The Danish Crafts Council, Knud W. Engelhardt Foundation and The Nordic Culture Fund. As a judge in the Danish TV programme, Denmark’s Next Classic, I’ve also had the privilege of working with the next generation of Danish design talents. A hugely inspiring experience which has not only taught me how much work can get done in very little time but also the courage it takes to perform under pressure and put your professional talent on public show.

Photo: Emma Line Sejersen
Photo: Emma Line Sejersen
1994 Industrial designer from the Danish Design School
1993 Art Center College of Design, Vevey, Switzerland
1988 Cabinet maker at Wolff, Hellerup DK (awarded silver medal)
1967 Born 1967, Copenhagen DK
2021 Two design awards for the UVBENCH, ‘Årets designpris’ and ‘Årets læserpris’ awarded by the three Danish magazines, Bo Bedre, Costume, Boligmagasinet and Scandinavia Living
2021 UVBENCH, short listet for the Danish Design Award
2019 Salto & Sigsgaard awarded the ‘Kunst, Design & Arkitektur’ prize by the Einar Hansen and Vera Hansens Foundation
2013 Reddot Design Award for the MUW watch, designed in collaboration with Rikke Salto
2012 The Thorvald Bindesbøll Medal
2011 Salto & Sigsgaard, winner of  the ‘New furniture for The Trusteeship Council chamber in United Nations’ competition
2011 Design Week Award for the NAP chair
2010 The Danish Design Award for the NAP chair
2010 Designer of the Year, awarded by the Danish interior design magazine, Bo Bedre
2010 The Finn Juhl Prize
2008 The Lis Ahlmanns Honorary Award
2005 The Knud V. Engelhardts Mindelegat
2003 Le Grand Prix du Design, France
2003 The Danish Furniture Prize, (‘Møbelprisen’ 2003)
2003 Reddot Design Award for the Skater chair
2002 The Danish Cabinetmakers prize
2000 Erik Herløw’s grant
1999 The Danish ID Prize for the RUNNER chair
1999 G-Prize, Japan
1998 Spectrum Award for Product Excellence, UK
1998 Moderni byt, Czechoslovakia, design prize for the RUNNER chair
1997 Christian Grauballes Foundation grant
1997 Angst & Phisters Design Prize
1997 The Bo Bedre prize
1996 Awarded at Forsnæs 100 years celebrations competition
2013 The reopening of UN’s Trusteeship Council Chamber, NY – a ceremony with the attendance of Banki Moon and the Danish Crown Princesse Mary
2013 Salto & Sigsgaard curates the Mindcraft exhibition for Danish Craft in Milan
2010 The Danish Design Prize exhibition
2010 Denmark by Design
2010 10+ Design Forecast
2004 ’Walk the plank 2’, Design Museum, Denmark, Malmø and Stockholm
2002 ‘Young Nordic Design: The Generation X’, New York, Washington D.C., Mexico City, Helsinki, Berlin, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Glasgow, Reykjavik
2002 ‘Arne Jacobsen 100 Years’, Maison du Danemark, Paris
2002 ‘Le Danemark Bouge’, Paris
2000 ‘The Danish Wave’, various locations
2000 ‘Walk the plank, Designmuseum Denmark
1999 ‘Living Danish Design’, London
1998 ‘Spectrum’, London
1997 ‘The Design Yearbook’ curated by Phillip Starck
1996 The Danish Cabinetmakers Annual Exhibition, Design Museum Denmark
2021- Member of the Board, The Nordic Culture Fund
2017 Member of the Jury, Danish Design Award (‘Healthy living’ category)
2015- Member of the Danish Design Council
2011-  Member of the Board, Knud W. Engelhardt Foundation
2005-08     Member of the Board, Danish Craft Council
2004-05   Member of the Board, Foreningen Dansk Møbelindustri
Fritz Hansen