During the recent 4th edition of 3daysofdesign in Copenhagen, we witnessed a lot of smiling faces during the many showroom visits, product launches & live workshops, exhibitions & ouvertures, performances & talks, as well as at the BBQs. And to continue our little tradition, DAMN° once again confronted curator Signe Byrdal Terenziani with some who’s & what’s: one question for each day, in fact.

DAMN°: Many things are happening this year. What is your personal Top 5 list of new discoveries during these 3daysofdesign?

Rolf Hay, co-founder of HAY. Photo: Bessaam El-Asmar
Signe Byrdal Terenziani: Well, I truly think that no single exhibition should be mentioned as better than another. It is against my values and the Janteloven [this translates as the Law of Jante, describing a pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Nordic countries that negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate - dating from 1933], which I grew up with in Denmark. I believe that every participant here has done their very best to shine in their own individual way. Some with great talent. But, as we know, talent is not enough for success – so actually those who have made an extra effort to evoke their uniqueness during 3daysofdesign were also the ones who shined the most. 

Keeping this in mind, I would mention six exhibitions:

Frama. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
1. Ultimate Impact (at the Round Tower)

This exhibition is a Nordic collaboration and investigates a number of phenomena in contemporary Nordic design culture. The participating artists were identified from a cross-disciplinary perspective originating from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Composed of a number of themes based on myths, historic traces (modern and ancient history), and site-specific phenomena, it is situated in a wonderful setting and brings lots of humour and edge into the design field. 

HAY. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Fredericia. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
2. Frama Studio Store, Apartment, and Café

Frama embodies a straightforward approach to design and aesthetics. The team works with solid, natural materials and uses a simplistic design language. Frama Studio Store is located in the former St. Pauls Apotek, which dates back to the 1800s and is a beautiful place in itself. Here guests could enjoy the launch of the brand new Frama Café. Frama Studio Apartment, situated in Østerbro, opened to the public for the first time this year, and showed exclusive pieces from the Study Collection.  

3. Fredericia’s ‘Living Showroom’

Guests were able to explore the furniture company’s new showroom at the top of the historic former Royal Mail House in the heart of Copenhagen, a large area spread across two floors. 

Fredericia presented its entire brand universe for the first time, with stories from its founding in 1911 to the present day. Visitors could experience everything from iconic design pieces by Børge Mogensen, Hans J. Wegner, and Nanna Ditzel to creative product news by Jasper Morrison, Aurélien Barbry, and Geckeler Michels, including an inspiring gallery with special highlights like Børge Mogensen’s original 2213 sofa, which for many years stood in the designer’s own home.

4. studio x viaduct pop-up studio/shop at Atelier September

Exhibited here were new items from valerie_objects, including pieces by muller van severen. I loved the idea of transforming the courtyard into a café.

5. MENU Space 

MENU presented its brand new design studio, office space, and café in the lovely harbour district of Nordhavn, a blossoming new area in Copenhagen.

6. HAY 

HAY held some very inspiring design talks at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The public was invited to hear founder Rolf Hay and designer Ronan Bouroulllec talk about their collaboration. This was very much in the spirit of 3daysofdesign, where we like to peer behind the façades of design companies and hear the individual stories. 

DAMN°: Name us 5 emerging studios, cute little companies, or design initiatives from Denmark.

SBT: I will just mention some, and you can see if you also find them “cute” and “little”. ;-) MOEBE, Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt, Overgaard & Dyrman, wehlers, Astep (This one is a design initiative, as Astep is owned by Italian founder Alessandro Sarfatti. However, the company is Danish and its HQ is in Denmark. Astep has a huge amount of knowledge in its backpack...)

DAMN°: Why do you think the City or government should support this design event and why do they still not do so after four editions?

3daysofdesign lives off the interaction between the City and design companies, and enriches both. The outcome of the event, therefore, far exceeds the activities in the showrooms and elevates the city as a whole. As an example, the festival invests an immense amount of money to have free shuttle bus and boat services, since we believe that our guests should have the opportunity to enjoy the city while visiting the various showrooms and exhibitions. It’s quite fantastic to be transported by boat, as it offers unique views of Copenhagen.

Many international guests come to the festival to experience the Nordic context, and 3daysofdesign provides an opportunity to do precisely that. Copenhagen is a fantastic city, and design attributes to a lot of that. The city is crowded with design features from our Danish heritage. Just take a look at some of the furniture at the airport: there you can find the Series 7 and Swan chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen, the Artichoke lamps by Poul Henningsen, and so forth. The atmosphere of Danish design can already be experienced on arrival at the airport! We would like to be able to offer more international design enthusiasts the possibility to partake in this, but it requires additional resources in our internal setup if we are to handle more guests (more boats, buses, etc.). 

I believe that it is not only in the government’s interest but that it’s also its responsibility to support the country’s rich design culture. Thus, I am also clueless to why it hasn’t shown more support so far. We admit that the event has not yet reached its full potential, but that is why support is needed. I guess the government needs to acknowledge that 3daysofdesign is not just some whipped cream on top of the layer cake. Very much to the contrary, it is actually what binds the city, design companies, buyers, dealers, journalists, and design-lovers from all over the world. 3daysofdesign offers a democratisation of design – it’s an event that everyone can attend for free.

MENU Space. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Alessandro Sarfatti, founder of Astep. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Anders Thams, Nicholas Oldroyd and Martin D. Christensen, founders of MOEBE. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Frama. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Ultimate Impact. Photo: Bessaam El-Asmar
Ultimate Impact. Photo: Bessaam El-Asmar
Fredericia. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Kirstine Meier Carlsen and Jonas Trampedach of studio x viaduct. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
MOEBE. Photo: Filippo Bamberghi
Hans Bølling in front of Hans Bølling: more than 50 years designing with Brdr. Krüger
One of the landmarks of Danishness: Kay Bojesen’s Wooden Monkey, proudly crafted by Brdr.Krüger for Rosendahl Design Group