Today was the first day of northmodern, the design fair at the Bella Center in Copenhagen. The first of three days and I’m feeling a bit punch drunk already. Just so much to see and so much to take in and to think about.
The exhibition space is arranged through three large halls with several additional spaces including two entrance areas, a VIP area, and outside terraces for when you feel you need fresh air and, of course, places for food and coffee. Within each of the large halls there are areas left open with seating supplied by some of the exhibitors and display areas run in different directions so nowhere has that awful feel of so many trade fairs with long long endless aisle.
At the Bella Center it also helps that there are areas of top lighting in the central hall so, particularly at this time of year, good natural lighting that changes as the sun moves round so again adding interest with pools of light changing across the displays.
I spent the day walking around, talking to some designers but generally trying to absorb what was there and where it is so tomorrow can be more focused.
Major brands like Muuto have large display areas and are taking this opportunity to introduce new items to their catalogues. Woud, a very new company have developed in an incredible way since northmodern in January. January they were good but this is a very impressive step change up which is really good to see … development and confidence when some are still cautiously talking about if or not the economic recession is over.
I was impressed by the new company Reform who are hacking … their word not mine … IKEA kitchen modules with one design of their own and three other new kitchen 'makeovers' designed for them by Bjarke Ingels, Norm and Henning Larsen Architects. No messing about here … there is an English phrase … if you don’t ask you don’t get … Reform asked and got. I tried to take photos but breakfast had just been spread out over the four kitchen island units and people swarmed in.
reform - at breakfast and after breakfast
There are also a good number of keen new designers and new companies here and I will profile several of them on the design review over the next few months … including a new local company SIXTEN::ERFURT and I have arranged to see them in their workshops on Amager to talk to them about their furniture so I can write a post on this site in the profile series.
Relatively new design companies like Overgaard & Dyrman and Mette Duedahl are here to build on and consolidate their growing reputations.
Finally for now, as it's late in the evening, as at northmodern in January, several young designers from outside Denmark are here providing a different viewpoint or perhaps a different starting point as they come from slightly different design traditions. I was impressed by the group of young Belgian designers and in particular Pierre-Emmanuel Vandeputte and will try to write up a little of our wide-ranging discussion for a post because he certainly has a different viewpoint on design … in part because his design for a ladder chair takes your view point up 3 metres from the ground.