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Rosan Bosch — At the Crossroads of Creativity
With a mantra that declares “only looking forward,” Rosan Bosch's eponymous Copenhagen-based studio thrives on experimentation, merging art, design and architecture in one seamless union.
Rosan Bosch — At the Crossroads of Creativity

Dutch-born artist Rosan Bosch lives and works in her own little hub of creativity. With a mantra that declares “only looking forward,” her eponymous Copenhagen-based studio thrives on experimentation, merging art, design and architecture in one seamless union. Rosan and her talented team have transformed everything from schools and workplaces, to hospitals and art galleries, into soulful spaces and environments that encourage human interaction, keeping sustainability and innovation at the very crux of their approach.

The driving force behind the success is Rosan herself, an art aficionado who has worked professionally in the creative realm for over 20 years. Educated in Holland and Barcelona, Bosch has enjoyed a somewhat international launch pad for her career. Today, she is the mastermind behind a successful international company with over 17 employees spread across two offices in Copenhagen and Singapore.

Rosan has a different way of looking at the world. Using bold colors and eccentric shapes as the hallmark, she uses creativity as a tool for change, questioning deep-rooted cultures and traditions, creating space for new ways of thinking and acting. In her own words, “Design needs to relate to the development of people, to the development of our mind and body. It’s not just an instrument of decoration, but also a tool for change.” And what better platform for such creative innovation than Denmark, a country with modern design ingrained in its identity. Scandinavia's infatuation with design is hardly a secret, and as a longstanding frontrunner in art and design, this enviable Danish capital simply oozes class and innovation.

We caught up with Rosan to chat about art, the modern classroom and that famous Nordic appeal.

You have a long history in the creative industry. Tell us a little about your evolution into design.

My background is in art — contemporary art — so I have always taken a very different stance when it comes to tackling design and creative projects. It has always been a goal of mine to be able to use my flair for design to help people work better in their everyday environments. Rosan Bosch Studio was just a natural extension of that.

Design is about forming things, shaping things, and working with aesthetics. But it’s also so much more than that. Design has the ability to change your way of thinking, acting and reacting. Our physical setting plays a large role in the way we act in the world.

I have a very strong team working with me at the studio —artists, architects, designers. Our aim is to translate imagination into rooms and environments that make a difference. We each bring something very different to the table, and I think that is important.  

With an international background like yours, what drove you to settle in Copenhagen?

I first came to Denmark many years ago. At the time, I was working as a contemporary artist and had a few exhibitions in Copenhagen. I was spending quite a lot of time here and quickly grew to love it.

Copenhagen is a wonderful city. It is inspiring and a great setting to develop both creatively and as an artist. The city itself opened up a lot of opportunities for me, partly due to the fact that Denmark is so open to the concept of multidisciplinary change, but also because the country is obsessed with the idea of improvement by design. This really tells you something about the Danish culture. I saw this as an opportunity and I jumped at that. I guess that’s why I’m here… well, that and I met my husband.

What influences your creative path whilst working on a project?

I always think of design a bit like a toolbox. You have a palette of colors, tools, and shapes at your disposal, and you can use these things to personalize and enrich many aspects of the everyday. It’s simple, really. You’ve got to make full use of the resources you’ve got.

I also look at all our projects from an existential point of view. Ultimately, we work with design as a tool for change. People come to us with a problem and we fix it. I always try to keep a very open mind so that I don't lose sight of the bigger picture, and I encourage my clients to do the same.

What is the correlation between a good working/learning environment and productivity?

It's obvious, isn't it [laughs]? We all know how it feels to sit in front of a computer at a desk all day.

There is something really lacking in our culture in that we are not acknowledging how our bodies interact with our physical environment. If we think about how we relate to our office or our classroom, we are so affected by the ways in which we use the space, be it consciously or unconsciously. Ultimately, it is about optimizing the way we use our surroundings and challenging the space we are in.

At the end of the day, we are the most flexible element within a room. We need to work on diversifying the way we use the environment.

I love this idea of ”reinventing the modern classroom,” which comes up frequently in your projects. Tell us a little about that.

Working with schools is something that I am particularly passionate about and I have been on a 15-year crusade trying to get my point across [laughs]. As a parent, I have witnessed first-hand how my children react to a day in front of a classroom desk. For me, I could see that it was just about improvising to fight the annoyances of the everyday class. Children need some diversity in their daily lives.

We use a holistic approach, considering the traditional learning approach and merging it with some imagination. We try to find a meeting point halfway. At the Swedish school Vittra in Södermalm, we employed many different tactics to keep the students engaged: Crystal chandeliers, colorful caves, and a library that opens like a treasure chest.  All of these features aim to break down the boundary between education and leisure, creating environments that students actually enjoy spending time in.

How have these projects been received by the public?

There are always going to be those who think that our approach is far too eccentric, that it is eroding the traditional educational system because it is too bold, too crazy, too fun. To me, it is just so obvious. Children need to be listened to. We need to create a school environment that children want to be a part of. It’s about making an environment that school children do not want to go home from. The same goes for offices.

What's next for Rosan Bosch Studio?

We have just, today, signed the papers for our expansion into Asia, and have set up an exciting new base in Singapore. We aim to continue to push the boundaries of design and strive to make a difference in people's lives through the development of interesting and dynamic spaces. —

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Thisispaper Magazine
A book of stories about thinkers and makers.
In this publication we have collected stories from the designers and artists that inspire us with their creativity and skill. Whether working in fashion, design, photography or architecture, they share the commitment to process and have a strong, personal voice.

How do you create an inspiring workplace? How does the space we work in influence our health? Can the workspace boost your creativity and well-being? To answer these questions we reached out to experts in the field.
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