Carl Hansen & Søn’s own apprentice workshop
Forming the future of craftsmanship
Carl Hansen & Søn has established its own apprentice workshop, THE LAB, with the aim of training more cabinet makers and craftsmen to meet growing demands and to preserve the craftsmanship in Denmark.
The apprentice workshop is located at Carl Hansen & Søn’s furniture factory in Gelsted, Denmark, which has a total of 60,000 m2 of floor space and 550 employees. The factory is one of the most modern furniture production facilities in Northern Europe, with a focus on craftsmanship and sustainability. Each piece of furniture requires hours of handcraft before it leaves the factory.
Quality craftsmanship is the foundation of Carl Hansen & Søn. This is one of the reasons why THE LAB apprentice workshop was established.
The programme is structured as a modern apprenticeship. The training takes three years and nine months, and combines periods at THE LAB apprentice workshop, periods in production and periods at technical college.
In THE LAB apprentice workshop, the apprentices are trained to work with projects that they have to manage from start to finish. They learn to make different kinds of joints, such as finger and dovetail joints, sanding methods, cut-outs, weaving and many more machine and hand skills. They thereby gain an in-depth understanding of the possibilities and challenges of the cabinetmaking trade. The apprentices also learn how to make fixtures for internal use, and how to restore vintage furniture and create commissioned pieces. The combination of these tasks helps to train some very versatile cabinetmakers.
Meet CEO Knud Erik Hansen and two of Carl Hansen & Søn’s apprentices, Amalie Liv Holm and Tobias Lykke Søby.
THE LAB Cases
Together with Carl Hansen & Søn, Laura Bilde and Thibaut Allgayer have created STOCK – a storage collection based on the theme Factory, inspired by industrial spaces and the shipping box. STOCK has been created in close collaboration with the talented apprentices in Carl Hansen & Søn’s own apprentice workshop THE LAB, which is founded in order to train the best cabinet makers possible, and to preserve the craftsmanship in Denmark.
The Ch24 Birthday Chair 2023 concept originated from 'The Lab' - Carl Hansen & Søn's apprentice workshop, where 20 young cabinetmakers are trained annually. The apprentices were tasked with designing a new seat for the CH24 Wishbone Chair. The top proposal underwent testing, gained approval from Hans J. Wegner's Tegnestue, and was refined by skilled weaving masters at Carl Hansen & Søn.