In Copenhagen, a Space to Talk about Grief, and the Life-Affirming Power of Design
What exactly is a “facilitation studio”? What happens inside a nourishment room? How might an infrared sauna help with grief? These are some of the questions that crossed my mind as I prepared to write about Post Service, a new space for mental health and talking about grief and death in Copenhagen, designed by the flower shop–turned–full service design studio Tableau. But perhaps that is the point. Post Service offers an entirely new way of thinking about the mental health conversation — that instead of “earth tones and fluffy couches,” sterility and sameness, a wellness clinic focused on the mindfulness practices around grief ought to offer an array of beautiful colors and inspiring designs.
Post Service is the brainchild of Xanthippi de Vito, MS, an American expat who offers private health coaching sessions, as well as use of an infrared sauna and movement room in the space. Designed by Tableau creative director Julius Værnes Iversen and architect Katrine Morel, Post Service “simultaneously asks and gives the client permission to explore new feelings and emotions; maybe there is surprise or shock, maybe a material ignites a memory of comfort, perhaps there are moments of discomfort and feeling challenged but in all experiences there is a sense of safety and freedom to explore.” Those challenging designs include a rubber granulated carpet, a red velvet couch, a “fringe bomb” chair, a crystal-shaped quartz desk, planters by Laurids Gallée, recycled lights by Arnaud Eubelen, and foam seats by Carsten In der Elst. All of the objects and colors were chosen to create a flow of energy throughout the space, which we’ve tried to retain in the photos below. ◆
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL RYGAARD