Sisu by Nanna Ditzel and Danh Vo

This fall, Kvadrat explores the intersection of timeless Danish design, contemporary culture, and storytelling with the launch of the vibrant upholstery textile Sisu. Originally designed by the visionary designer Nanna Ditzel in the 1960s, the textile is curated with a contemporary eye by the artist Danh Vo who discovered it in the Kvadrat archives and chose it for ‘Take My Breath Away’, an exhibition at Denmark’s National Gallery (SMK). 

The path to the unveiling of Sisu begins with Danh Vo’s curiosity about how textiles shape the experience of furniture. This led the artist to an admiration of Nanna Ditzel’s iconic design Hallingdal and the desire to explore her celebrated body of work. As Danh Vo set about searching for a characterful textile for his exhibition and learning more about the groundbreaking designer, he searched through Kvadrat’s archives and found Sisu – which forms a bridge to Hallingdal.

Sisu’s expression is reminiscent of looking at Hallingdal through a magnifying glass. The textile is woven with thick, voluminous woollen yarns and features a bold yet subtle, checked pattern. Blocks of colour play across its surface, rising to tactile, rhythmic effect. 

Sisu underlines the clarity of colour, design, and materials traditionally associated with the Kvadrat brand. At the same time, it sheds light on Nanna Ditzel’s impact on the firm, her vision – and her modesty.

Danh Vo: “Many companies don’t design things to last. So, it is beautiful to see how seriously Kvadrat has re-produced this textile with every intention to make it last.”

To celebrate the launch of Sisu, Danh Vo and his two companions Louise and Martin Feldt from Galleri Feldt have created a special exhibition at Birgers Herretøj (Birger's meanswear), an old menswear shop in Stubbekøbing, Denmark, that was purchased by Danh, Louise and Martin in 2020.