We have to admit that our colleagues in the School of Architecture have really attracted our attention. During their weeklong international workshop, ConnectA, which took place at the Technical School, we only heard about Danish architects. One name in particular stood out from the rest: Arne Jacobsen.
We did some detective work and discovered that the aforementioned Jacobsen is’t just famous for his buildings, but also for some of the pieces of furniture that he designed for them. At a time of Danish rationalism, it is common for architects to design not only buildings but also the furniture and spaces within them. Along came the Egg Chair, the Drop Chair and the Series 7, as well as many other interesting pieces. Do you know any of them?
The Egg Chair (Arne Jacobsen)
You must know Jacobsen; he is a classic. The Egg Chair, which is still in production today, is quite possibly his most famous piece of furniture. Half chair, half sculpture, it provides privacy for the user and was designed to decorate the iconic SAS Royal Hotel, which, of course, was designed by Arne Jacobsen himself.
The Artichoke Lamp (Poul Henningsen)
Poul Henningsen or PH is quite possibly the most renowned light designer in Denmark. It would be difficult to choose just one of his lamps, but the Artichoke is probably the most well-known due to its distinctive features that give this light a very particular shape.
Simplicity and functionality are the main concepts that define the design “Made in Denmark”
The Series 7 Chair (Arne Jacobsen)
You will have seen it thousands of times and thousands of times, you will have wanted one in your living room. Hope is not lost; you can buy your own one from Fritz Hansen. It even comes in different colours and fabrics. It is of no surprise to us that his most famous, signature piece of furniture is potentially one of the most sold around the world.
The Panton Chair (Verner Panton)
A brightly coloured chair made out of one piece of plastic. That is the concept behind this authentic icon of modernity, which was designed by the enfant terrible, Verner Panton, in the 1960s. Pair it with the Flowerpot Lamp and you will complete the futuristic look.
Look beyond the big names and the iconic pieces and you will discover that design is something, which is a big part of Danish identity. Taking a trip around the capital, Copenhagen, gives you a first-hand experience of how design has shaped city life, furniture and even signs. In short, it is in everything that we use on a day-to-day basis: design has to be user-friendly.
For anyone visiting Copenhagen who is interested in design, without a doubt, you should take a trip to the Design Museum. You will have to pay 115 kroner to enter, unless you are a student, in which case it is free. It is worth every penny, even if you only see the permeant collection.
The Bang & Olufsen experience
At the Struer Museum, you can visit the Bang and Olufsen collection, amongst many other interesting things. Take journey through the world of television and radio and see all of the B&O gadgets that we have all dreamed of having at home!
Another fundamental stop on a Danish design tour, in this museum you will find made in Denmark, the best collection of furniture, pottery and textiles. Furthermore, in Trapholt there is magnificent park full of sculptures signed by the most renowned contemporary artists of the country… It even includes Arne Jacobsen’s cube house!
As you can see, Denmark has been one of the biggest centres of design for decades. From furniture to fashion, this country has provided the world with some of the best names in innovative design.
You must also not forget the buildings. Danish architecture, since the time of rationalisation, has created and continues to create a school: Bjarke Ingels, Jørn Utzon, Henning Larssen, Dorte Mandrup… names that need to be known, and although they linked more to architecture and less to design, are absolutely basic. Ultimately, although designers and architects work in different areas, there are three main concepts that link the two together: aesthetic, functionality and efficiency.
Do you have something to add to this list of iconic Danish designs? What about the other Scandinavian countries?