Nielsen, a young metalworker, met his future wife, Marie Axelsen, when she was training to be a hairdresser. When they married, in 1939, Marie opened her own salon in Randers, Denmark, and Holger applied his skills to help furnish it. He designed the original Vipp pedal bin and made three of them for the salon. As his work attracted the attention of customers, he continued to fabricate them on request. With money from the sale of a car he won at a raffle (he had no driver’s license), he invested in a metal-turning lathe and set up his own factory. Early Vipp bins were popular for medical offices, but they eventually expanded into commercial, school, and domestic environments. The name Vipp is onomatopoeic, taken from the Danish word for the lid’s movement as it opens and closes.
Gallery label from Shaping Modernity: Design 1880-1980, December 23, 2009–July 25, 2010 .
In the modern kitchen, where hygiene and waste disposal are paramount concerns, a trash bin is a crucial object. This Vipp bin is the update of a design created in 1939 by young metalworker Holger Nielsen for his wife’s hair salon. The three original bins attracted the attention of customers, leading to limited, on-request production. Later, Nielsen invested in a metal lathe and set up his own factory. Although initially used primarily in medical offices, Vipp bins proved well-suited for domestic use as well, and are still popular in kitchens the world over. The product’s name is onomatopoeic, taken from the Danish word for the lid’s movement as it opens and closes.
Gallery label from Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, September 15, 2010-March 14, 2011.