Tom Stepp

"For me, FDB stands for 'For De Bevidste' ('For the conscious consumer'). Because the furniture is targeted at people who care about their surroundings"

Tom Stepp, 66, was trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts after initially qualifying as a building technician, and operates from his studio in Helsingør. Tom Stepp has always been an independent designer – and in his own words has “simply continued doing what I did during carpentry lessons at primary school”.

“I make a point of not buying anything I can design myself. My own needs dictate what I need in the way of new things. I’m unable to simply design beautiful objects. I must have a specific need, which then guides my pencil. In other words, there’s a clear reason for every single thing I design. My thinking is that when I need a certain type of chair or shelf, then there must be many others who share the same need,” explains Tom Stepp.

He calls himself a modern functionalist, and he would rather find solutions than create new problems. A chair should be comfortable to sit on, otherwise it is not a good chair, however beautiful it is.

Tom Stepp’s designs have won him, for example, the Formland Prize and the Scandinavian Furniture Award, and he has also won various lighting competitions.