DAMN°: What were the novelties and highlights of this 3rd edition?
Signe Byrdal Terenziani: A highlight is definitely the growing interest in using 3daysofdesign as a platform for meeting people, building networks, doing branding and trade. This edition was a huge success, not only due to the significant increase in visitors and exhibitors, but also to the many collaborations and synergies created during the event. It has not only been valuable for singular companies, but for the entire industry and the public too. Unlike a trade fair, 3daysofdesign distinguishes itself as a cultural event, by offering a range of different happenings like design talks, exhibitions, live workshops, product launches, and so forth, in a unique combination, with established brands alongside emerging designers and companies. As such, it is not only about presenting novelties, but also about sharing ideas, thoughts, and reflections on design and design processes in general.
As an example, Fritz Hansen, Georg Jensen Damask, and Dinesen joined forces and invited Pernille Egeskov to interpret the companies’ legacies of quality and craftsmanship. The result was a poetic installation about living rituals and family relation- ships. In six spaces within a home setting, Egeskov contrasted lasting products with fragility and transience. File Under Pop, &shufl, and Please Wait to be Seated invited visitors to experience the tranquillity of a classic matcha tea ceremony as a tool for reflection, and to give prominence to enjoying the beautiful surroundings in their shared showroom, where many new surface design products, kitchens, and chairs were on display.
In the same building, onecollection drew visitors’ minds back to the 1950s, serving whisky on the rocks and playing jazzy tunes while presenting the France chair designed in 1956. Carl Hansen & Søn proudly demonstrated its outstanding skills in the new flagship store in Bredgade, with a craftsman demonstrating how a Wegner chair comes into being. Fans of Poul Kjærholm also had the pleasure of being introduced to the re- launch of his iconic table series. Fredericia Furniture has completely refurbished their store to resemble a boutique hotel lobby, adding new textiles to classic pieces to – as Uffe Buchard, creative director of Darling Studio declared, “kick the old ladies lovingly in the arse”.
Hence, 3daysofdesign is as much a catalyst of design as it is a reflection of the process behind it.
DAMN°: Who are the visitors you are aiming at?
SBT: Journalists, buyers, and design enthusiasts from around the world ... and obliviously the furniture industry itself. I believe that the event stimulates new launches and collaborations across the industry and hopefully helps to build up a greater design community.
DAMN°: Is there still something like Danish design or Danish-ness in the present day?
SBT: Denmark is a leading design nation, with a strong tradition that is admired internationally. Most people know pieces like the Swan, the Y-chair, or the Artichoke lamp created by Danish designers back in the 1960s. Those movements are still the basis of many Danish design processes and values, amongst other things usability and durability. The old masters created new production methods and managed to reach out to people with their products, which provided design solutions to problems that were both viable and sustainable. It was about the notion of ‘good living’, and many Danes have grown up with that tradition.
Today, much Danish design is still based on the idea of creating simple solutions that make sense and solve specific problems. We are proud of our Danish design heritage, but at the same time we see the coming of a new golden age of Danish design – not only in terms of making new products but also in terms of Danish design thinking – as a method, a mind-set, and a leadership tool, where design can contribute to the creation of growth and help companies engage customers in new ways. Design can downsize resources and create better and more sustainable services, as well as improve quality of life for the individual and for communities.
Classic characteristics of Danish design are: minimalistic, light, flexible, democratic, open, and community-oriented. As for Danish-ness – or common social values, terms such as openness, empathy, care-taking, and social consciousness could be said to determine the Danish design approach.
DAMN°: Is there a Danish design scene?
SBT: Danish design is attracting international attention. Following the heyday of the 1950s and 60s, contemporary Danish design is building on that tradition and is now embracing it at every level – from urban design to experimental handicrafts: the super objects. If there’s one city where design is deeply ingrained into the culture and lifestyle, it’s Copenhagen.
DAMN°: Are Danish design companies international or domestic?
SBT: I guess that overall there’s a particular way that Danish design companies work – with systematic empathy and holistic thinking at their heart – as a value and a tool. You could define that as a domestic approach to design. We notice that Danish design-led businesses, ranging from icons like LEGO to Bang & Olufsen, demonstrate that working closely with designers helps companies unleash their organisation’s creative forces and potential. Leadership through design allows them to find new ways of shaping their future. We acknowledge this in Denmark, but obviously sharing ideas and supporting each other also helps the community spirit to flourish. Hopefully 3daysofdesign also contributes in that regard.
The permanent exhibition Danish Design Now is at Designmuseum Danmark.