MORTEN WAGENER

 

Watch as the passionate CEO and Co-founder of Butchers & Bicycles (@butchersandbicycles) introduces you to his Copenhagen, seen from the viewpoint of his award-winning electric, tilting cargo bike, the MK1-E.

 

Morten has lived in San Francisco, Austria, Sweden and Italy. And his bike is currently sold in twenty-six countries. But wherever work takes him, he always returns to Copenhagen: home for his young family, thriving business and one of the world’s most exciting bike cultures.

HOW DOES COPENHAGEN INSPIRE YOUR CRAFT?

We love cycling! We cycle everywhere; to work, in the weekends, on dates. It isn’t because we can’t afford a car. It’s because it makes us feel great. It’s a lifestyle choice. But things change. We start families, yet we don’t want to give up our bikes, especially as their so suited to life here in Copenhagen. And in that sense, the cargo bike is just ideal. Cause it enables you to maintain the same freedom and enjoyment you had before, without the need for a car.

Designer Morten Wagener

YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT CYCLING’S SUSTAINABILITY. AND YOU’VE WORKED AS AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER CREATING PRODUCTS FOR VARIOUS FIELDS, INCLUDING WIND TURBINES. WHAT BIRTHED YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS?

I think it comes from my childhood. Being responsible and growing up understanding that I would have to face the consequences of my actions. And the same is true of sustainability. We forget sometimes, but everything we do matters.

YOU SPENT ALMOST THREE YEARS DEVELOPING THE MK1-E. DO YOU HAVE TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS VENTURING INTO BUSINESS?

We were so surprised by the number of entrepreneurs who were willing to share their knowledge and experiences. We started work on the MK1-E in parallel to our full-time jobs. When the time was right, we quit our jobs and haven’t looked back. So, I would say don’t overlook the importance of a thorough and honest risk assessment; and a strong local network.

Designer Morten Wagener

HOW HAS BEING A DANE IN DENMARK AFFECTED YOUR WORK AND CAREER?

Living in such a small international speaking country, makes you outward looking. So, our strategy was always to be international from the start. Aesthetic value has to be considered, but design is more about making high-quality products that solve problems; and that’s inherent of Danish design.

WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD DO YOU MOST LIKE TO CYCLE AND WHY?

I love exploring cities on a bike. It gives you time to look around and start conversations with locals. I’ve lived in San Francisco and enjoyed cycling there. Their bike culture is emerging, yet Americans are so attached to their cars. It’s interesting to see these two groups merge and co-exist.

YOU NOW HAVE A YOUNG DAUGHTER. HOW HAS SHE CHANGED YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE CITY AND YOUR WORK?

You tend to ride at new times of the day and to different locations, which allow me to see the city from new perspectives. She’s 1 now, and it’s great to be able to introduce her to my passion.

PRO1A