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Danish Design Past and Present And an introduction to Danish Design Centre

Danish Design Centre A presentation The Danish Design Centre has its headquarters on H.C.

experimenting designers. The exhibitions aim to provide

Andersens Boulevard in the middle of Copenhagen in a new

information and spark debate and help define the Danish

building designed by Professor, architect Henning Larsen.

Design Centre’s profile to the business sector and the

The building houses offices, exhibition halls, a professional

general public. Annually, the Danish Design Centre has

conference centre, a shop and a café, all run by the Danish

approximately 85,000 visitors.

Design Centre. The Danish Design Centre was established in 1978 and moved to its new headquarters in 2000.

Events. The Danish Design Centre hosts two major design events, which take place every other year.

Mr. Christian Scherfig has been managing director of the Danish Design Centre since 2005.

Copenhagen Design Week is an international event that presents new ideas, knowledge and products – design that

The DDC is an independent institution under the Danish

generates possibilities for a changing world. For one week,

Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs. In addition,

established and new design events are brought together

Danish Design Centre handles a number of specific

and strengthened to provoke, excite and inspire.

promotional tasks for the Danish Ministry of Culture. The Danish Design Prize is awarded to excellent and Strategy. Danish Design Centre´s assignment is based

innovative Danish designs of the year.

on the Danish government´s design policy of promoting innovation and growth in Denmark and strengthening

Café Dansk. Danish open-faced sandwiches, design

the international competetiveness of Danish businesses.

furniture and sustainability are combined in the Danish Design Centre’s café, Café Dansk. The café features furniture

The Danish Design Centre’s strategy focuses on

by the Danish design firm Gubi, and the cuisine is based

• Communicating new knowledge about the business

on ‘New Nordic Kitchen’, which revolves around the most

potential and the use of design to businesses and

characteristic regional and seasonal ingredients. Free

developing their competences in the field of design

admission.

and innovation.

• Branding Danish design nationally and internationally.

Shop. The Danish Design Centre’s shop offers a rich and varied selection of Danish and Scandinavian design products

Through workshops, conferences, newsletters, exhibitions,

– here, you will find ageless, classic designs side by side

networking and the design portal www.ddc.dk, the Danish

with modern, young and innovative products. The shop

Design Centre promotes the great potential of design to the

also carries many ‘travel light’ products. Free admission.

target groups of Danish companies and the general public. Conference. The Danish Design Centre also runs a Exhibitions. Each year, the Danish Design Centre shows

professional conference centre which hosts a wide range

approximately six exhibitions, ranging from Danish to

of events from large-scale trade conferences and seminars

international design and from established names to young

to dinners, luncheons and parties.

Dansk Design Center H.C. Andersens Boulevard 27 DK-1553 Copenhagen V Denmark Tel +45 3369 3369 design@ddc.dk www.ddc.dk


Danish Design Past

Deep into its soul, Denmark is a design nation. Danish design became a concept known worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s and reflects the essence of Danish culture and self-perception: user-friendliness and © Panton Design

an open and democratic approach to life.

The Danish design DNA In a country where the winter months offer little daylight, the home and Panton Chair, Vitra, design Verner Panton, 1967

interior design are a high priority. The Danes indulge in outdoor activities in the summer, but in the winter they seek shelter indoors and spend most of their time at home. Consequently, the Danes spend more time and money on their home than most other people in the world. Design furniture is passed down from generation to generation and design has become accessible to everybody. Thus, design has always played a key role in Danish living – practically becoming part of the Danish DNA.

The old masters Initially, Danish design was a child of its time: frugal post-war years with a shortage of materials and the ensuing demand for durability, and a vital tradition for high-quality craftsmanship. In the coming years, a range of outstanding designers created world-class designs and became what we © Fritz Hansen/Strüwing

today have come to recognise as world-famous design icons: Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Kaare Klint, Mogens Koch, Børge Mogensen, Verner Panton, Jørn Utzon, Hans J Wegner (front page) and many others.

Danish Design Present

In the 21st century, the Danish design tradition lives on as inspiration to a new generation of designers. Over the second half of the 20th century Danish design has developed, and today the expression is broader than the familiar stylistic icons from the 1950s and 1960s.

Design is more than a chair Today’s critical, individualistic consumers and the general awareness of environmentally sustainable development are reshaping the conditions for Danish design and challenging designers and manufacturers to seek new paths. The view on design has changed from a focus on styling to design as an integrated component of both strategy and development. This is true of product design, service design, graphic design, the electronic media etc.

... but a chair is still design Danish furniture design now is not as homogenous a concept as it was in the 1950s and 1960s, but it is still characterized by a common perspective and approach, which are evident in recognisable expressions and quality standards. Today, there is renewed interest in Danish furniture design, and Denmark is once again standing out as one of the countries involved in setting the agenda and determining the future direction of design.

The Ant, Fritz Hansen, design Arne Jacobsen, 1954

Loop table, HAY, design Leif Jørgensen, 2009

Design for the user Danish design added new dimensions to the general perception of design worldwide. The Danish design approach emphasized an organic functionalism that was far removed from the hard, geometrical shapes of international functionalism. A key element was the genuine interest in the user and in functionality. The characteristics that developed were user-friendliness, respect for the materials and an ambition of simplification and of achieving a certain honest and simple beauty. Blue Fluted Plain, Royal Copenhagen, 1770s

Prince chair, HAY, design Louise Campbell, 2007

The future generation The new generation of designers is characterized by a continued interest in simple form, a respect for materials, high quality craftsmanship and a belief in the power of design to improve the quality of life. Many Danish design firms are currently launching new, distinctive design classics. New design firms including Hay, Muuto, Normann Cph and Gubi emphasize innovation, humour and a uniquely Danish expression when they select the designers to produce their furniture. Modern design classics

Object Red, Muuto, design Michael Geertsen, 2003

such as Gubi Chair and Loop table from Hay are an indication of the many interesting furniture designs we can expect from Danish designers in the future. Companies such as Fredericia Furniture, Erik Jørgensen and Fritz Hansen © Fritz Hansen

Super-elliptical table, Fritz Hansen, design Bruno Matsson, Piet Hein

have supplemented their production of Danish design classics with designs by contemporary designers. For example, Thomas Pedersen has designed the rocking chair Stingray for Fredericia Furniture (front page); a chair that clearly has its origins in the design classics but which has acquired an entirely new expression through the use of 3D technologies.

GUBI Chair, GUBI, design Komplot Design


Danish Design Past

Deep into its soul, Denmark is a design nation. Danish design became a concept known worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s and reflects the essence of Danish culture and self-perception: user-friendliness and © Panton Design

an open and democratic approach to life.

The Danish design DNA In a country where the winter months offer little daylight, the home and Panton Chair, Vitra, design Verner Panton, 1967

interior design are a high priority. The Danes indulge in outdoor activities in the summer, but in the winter they seek shelter indoors and spend most of their time at home. Consequently, the Danes spend more time and money on their home than most other people in the world. Design furniture is passed down from generation to generation and design has become accessible to everybody. Thus, design has always played a key role in Danish living – practically becoming part of the Danish DNA.

The old masters Initially, Danish design was a child of its time: frugal post-war years with a shortage of materials and the ensuing demand for durability, and a vital tradition for high-quality craftsmanship. In the coming years, a range of outstanding designers created world-class designs and became what we © Fritz Hansen/Strüwing

today have come to recognise as world-famous design icons: Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Kaare Klint, Mogens Koch, Børge Mogensen, Verner Panton, Jørn Utzon, Hans J Wegner (front page) and many others.

Danish Design Present

In the 21st century, the Danish design tradition lives on as inspiration to a new generation of designers. Over the second half of the 20th century Danish design has developed, and today the expression is broader than the familiar stylistic icons from the 1950s and 1960s.

Design is more than a chair Today’s critical, individualistic consumers and the general awareness of environmentally sustainable development are reshaping the conditions for Danish design and challenging designers and manufacturers to seek new paths. The view on design has changed from a focus on styling to design as an integrated component of both strategy and development. This is true of product design, service design, graphic design, the electronic media etc.

... but a chair is still design Danish furniture design now is not as homogenous a concept as it was in the 1950s and 1960s, but it is still characterized by a common perspective and approach, which are evident in recognisable expressions and quality standards. Today, there is renewed interest in Danish furniture design, and Denmark is once again standing out as one of the countries involved in setting the agenda and determining the future direction of design.

The Ant, Fritz Hansen, design Arne Jacobsen, 1954

Loop table, HAY, design Leif Jørgensen, 2009

Design for the user Danish design added new dimensions to the general perception of design worldwide. The Danish design approach emphasized an organic functionalism that was far removed from the hard, geometrical shapes of international functionalism. A key element was the genuine interest in the user and in functionality. The characteristics that developed were user-friendliness, respect for the materials and an ambition of simplification and of achieving a certain honest and simple beauty. Blue Fluted Plain, Royal Copenhagen, 1770s

Prince chair, HAY, design Louise Campbell, 2007

The future generation The new generation of designers is characterized by a continued interest in simple form, a respect for materials, high quality craftsmanship and a belief in the power of design to improve the quality of life. Many Danish design firms are currently launching new, distinctive design classics. New design firms including Hay, Muuto, Normann Cph and Gubi emphasize innovation, humour and a uniquely Danish expression when they select the designers to produce their furniture. Modern design classics

Object Red, Muuto, design Michael Geertsen, 2003

such as Gubi Chair and Loop table from Hay are an indication of the many interesting furniture designs we can expect from Danish designers in the future. Companies such as Fredericia Furniture, Erik Jørgensen and Fritz Hansen © Fritz Hansen

Super-elliptical table, Fritz Hansen, design Bruno Matsson, Piet Hein

have supplemented their production of Danish design classics with designs by contemporary designers. For example, Thomas Pedersen has designed the rocking chair Stingray for Fredericia Furniture (front page); a chair that clearly has its origins in the design classics but which has acquired an entirely new expression through the use of 3D technologies.

GUBI Chair, GUBI, design Komplot Design


Danish Design Past and Present And an introduction to Danish Design Centre

Danish Design Centre A presentation The Danish Design Centre has its headquarters on H.C.

experimenting designers. The exhibitions aim to provide

Andersens Boulevard in the middle of Copenhagen in a new

information and spark debate and help define the Danish

building designed by Professor, architect Henning Larsen.

Design Centre’s profile to the business sector and the

The building houses offices, exhibition halls, a professional

general public. Annually, the Danish Design Centre has

conference centre, a shop and a café, all run by the Danish

approximately 85,000 visitors.

Design Centre. The Danish Design Centre was established in 1978 and moved to its new headquarters in 2000.

Events. The Danish Design Centre hosts two major design events, which take place every other year.

Mr. Christian Scherfig has been managing director of the Danish Design Centre since 2005.

Copenhagen Design Week is an international event that presents new ideas, knowledge and products – design that

The DDC is an independent institution under the Danish

generates possibilities for a changing world. For one week,

Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs. In addition,

established and new design events are brought together

Danish Design Centre handles a number of specific

and strengthened to provoke, excite and inspire.

promotional tasks for the Danish Ministry of Culture. The Danish Design Prize is awarded to excellent and Strategy. Danish Design Centre´s assignment is based

innovative Danish designs of the year.

on the Danish government´s design policy of promoting innovation and growth in Denmark and strengthening

Café Dansk. Danish open-faced sandwiches, design

the international competetiveness of Danish businesses.

furniture and sustainability are combined in the Danish Design Centre’s café, Café Dansk. The café features furniture

The Danish Design Centre’s strategy focuses on

by the Danish design firm Gubi, and the cuisine is based

• Communicating new knowledge about the business

on ‘New Nordic Kitchen’, which revolves around the most

potential and the use of design to businesses and

characteristic regional and seasonal ingredients. Free

developing their competences in the field of design

admission.

and innovation.

• Branding Danish design nationally and internationally.

Shop. The Danish Design Centre’s shop offers a rich and varied selection of Danish and Scandinavian design products

Through workshops, conferences, newsletters, exhibitions,

– here, you will find ageless, classic designs side by side

networking and the design portal www.ddc.dk, the Danish

with modern, young and innovative products. The shop

Design Centre promotes the great potential of design to the

also carries many ‘travel light’ products. Free admission.

target groups of Danish companies and the general public. Conference. The Danish Design Centre also runs a Exhibitions. Each year, the Danish Design Centre shows

professional conference centre which hosts a wide range

approximately six exhibitions, ranging from Danish to

of events from large-scale trade conferences and seminars

international design and from established names to young

to dinners, luncheons and parties.

Dansk Design Center H.C. Andersens Boulevard 27 DK-1553 Copenhagen V Denmark Tel +45 3369 3369 design@ddc.dk www.ddc.dk


Danish Design Past and Present