KADK Afgang Sommer’17


This weekend is the last opportunity to see the exhibition of the projects and work of this year's graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation … a densely packed show of the talents and the phenomenal imaginations and skills of the students who have just completed their courses in Copenhagen.

There are profiles of the students and photographs and descriptions of their work on the KADK site.

The exhibition ends on 13th August. 

KADK, Danneskiold-Samsøe Alle, Copenhagen

Kunsthåndværkermarked - first day



Today was the first day of the major annual craft market at Frue Plads in Copenhagen - Kunsthåndværkermarked - with ceramics, glassware, jewellery and textiles. Organised by the members of the association of Danish crafts - Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - the market continues on Friday and Saturday 11th and 12th August. 


Allépavillonen in Kongens Have


Work progressing on building the Allépavillonen in Kongens Have - the summer pavilion in the King's Garden in Copenhagen.

The pavilion - by the Swedish architects Krupinski / Krupinska - was the winning design in the annual competition by the Architects Association and will open from the 18th August.

Krupinski / Krupinska Arkitekter




Not in the normal location on the large square across the north side of Vor Frue Kirke in Copenhagen - because of excavation works there - but for this year on the other side of the church.

This is an opportunity to see - and to buy - some of the very best of Danish craft. And the weather seems to have improved just in time.

Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10-12 August


Gade Fotografi 1917-2017

This weekend is the last chance to see the major exhibition of street photography at Øksnehallen in Copenhagen … the market hall to the west of the central railway station.

This is an extensive show in three or really four sections to show the work of the American photographer Vivian Maier along with the work of major street photographers from Europe and the States with photographs taken over the century from 1917 through to 2017 and there are two additional shows … the extraordinary photographs of men with extraordinary beards taken by Lasse Bak Mejlvang and an exhibition from Olympus under the title Perspective Playground - Experience Art Through the Lens.

DGI Byen, Øksnehallen, Copenhagen



The impressive post building at Øster Allé - on the corner of Fælledparken and close to the football stadium - was designed by Thorvald Jørgensen and was completed in 1922. 

It has been converted into a museum of post and telecommunications. 

There is still a proper post office counter just inside the main entrance although most of the ground floor is now a spacious and pleasant cafe - Enigma Kantina - with long tables where you are encouraged to talk to other people. They also sell gifts and smaller design items as well as souvenirs related to postal services and there is a sunny courtyard to the side - presumably the yard where postal vans loaded and unloaded.

The square in front of the building has been almost completely taken over by construction works for one of the new Metro Stations so this will be interesting to watch how this area changes and develops over the next few years once the metro is finished.

Enigma, Øster Allé 1


noma pop under



Part of the team from the noma restaurant in Copenhagen have opened a pop-up restaurant under the arches of Knippelsbro - so under the road deck of the central bridge over the harbour. If you are walking, go down the steps on the Opera House side on the south or Christianshavn end of the bridge or get there by the harbour ferry to the Christianshavn ferry pier immediately south of the bridge. 

There are temporary kitchens along the quay and with barbecue cooking the smells, as you walk past, are amazing. … but then what would you expect? … this is chefs from noma. There is also a bar where you can buy a drink and justsit out watching the boats on the water and there is the well-established wine merchants in their permanent space under the road deck.

noma continues here under the bridge until 3 September

the space under the bridge earlier in the Summer

around Copenhagen harbour

the information panel at Nyhavn


on the far side of Inderhavnsbroen looking across to Paper Island


With the opening of Belvederebroen at the south end of the harbour at the end of last year … along with Cirkelbroen or Circle Bridge designed by Olafur Eliasson that opened in August 2015 to cross the canal on the Amager side of the harbour and the Inderhavnsbroen that opened in July 2016 to link across the harbour between Nyhavn and Holmen … it is now possible to bike, run or walk around the harbour in Copenhagen. 

The complete circuit is 13 kilometres although shorter loops around smaller chunks using the older bridges at Knippelsbro or Langebro or by crossing over Bryggebroen - the bridge at Fisketorvet - there are shorter circuits of two or four or seven kilometres.

At intervals there are distinct signs in dark blue … appropriately close to the paint colour called Copenhagen Blue. Each post is at a key point on the route and give in Danish and in English a short description of the immediate area and its history. If I was running the circuit I’d probably be using the sign for support as a tried to regain my breath … well beyond taking in the information but trying to pretend I was doing a few stretches before lurching off on the next section. My guess would be that most Danes running and certainly all Danes on bikes are going much too fast to read anything as they dash by.

The signs also have a map which shows the route and the stops of the harbour ferry - the Havnebus - if you feel like seeing the harbour from the water but what is interesting and more importantis that the maps mark the dedicated cycle routes into and across the city. This tells you something significant about the planning policy in the city … there is a historic core where transport has to be co-ordinated and there is the well-established and coherent policy to encourage cycling rather than car use but more than that the cycle routes and the harbour circuit are about linking the city together, making places accessible to everyone so it is about much more than regenerating the docklands.

A map of the harbour can be downloaded if you want to plan your route but why not live dangerously and just go for it ... follow the signs ... you could end up back where you started ... or somewhere you hadn't planned to end up ... so much more interesting.

down by Belvederebroen

an “Adidas Original”

publicity photographs from Adidas/Kvadrat and pen portrait from Designmuseum Danmark



… or should that be an Adidas / Kvadrat collaboration with a Stan Smith classic and a Vibeke Rohland original?

Vibeke Rohland, the Copenhagen artist, designed the fabric in 2005 and Squares has been in production by the Danish textile company Kvadrat since 2008 and is available in ten colour ways.

The collaboration between Kvadrat and Adidas was so top secret that even Vibeke was kept out of the loop until the first publicity came out this month. Her reaction? “Cool” Had she no idea at all … well there had been a very weird phone call from the design department at Kvadrat back in February asking what size shoe she wears … it did seem odd for any sort of company publicity material but then she forgot all about it.

Adidas missed a publicity trick as Vibeke can regularly be seen running … and I do mean running … up the harbour from her studio to Toldbod and beyond.

Maybe these sport shoes wouldn’t get past the Wimbledon white-only dress code but for anywhere else they sure beat plain canvas.

The shoes will be available from early July in three different colour ways.

Vibeke Rohland

Squares from Kvadrat

Dursley-Pedersen update



Back in May there was a post here about the Dursley-Pedersen bike that had just been added to the collection at the design museum in Copenhagen.

The bikes are still in production but I have still not seen any actually being ridden in the city so it was worth a trip over to Christiania - to the bike workshops of Christiania Cykler there - to see the current models.

I’m still not sure how people on these bikes cope with Copenhagen cobbles or is that the real benefit of that long low-hung hammock for a saddle - or cope with the pressure and rush of a Copenhagen peloton at full speed on a commute over one of the bridges and through the traffic. 

The options for different handlebars and modifications to the arrangement of the frame were impressive but I did note that none of the bikes in the showroom had that viscous-looking spike as all the bits of the frame came together above the handlebars in the early version … surely lethal if you hit a rut or a drain at the wrong angle and go hurtling over the top when the bike stops abruptly. Versions had the handlebars at the top so if they are straight then the posture is upright … sort of more Dutch … but some had handlebars that swept down like demented bull’s horns. Perhaps that’s the way to deal with pedestrians who try to cross when their little man is on red and your light is on green … 




A new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians was opened in the south harbour area of Copenhagen in October last year. 

Constructed over the Belvedere inlet - a narrow cut at the end of Frederiksholmsløbet - it connects Frederiks Brygge with Enghave Bryyge and completes a 13 kilometre circuit around the inner harbour for walkers, runners and cyclists and allows local cyclists to avoid heavy traffic on Vasbygade.

Designed by the architect SLA, this bridge is 25 metres long and is a generous width at 6 metres across. 

The sides or parapets are formed with large but thin tabs of steel that appear to have been folded upwards at different angles so they are close to vertical at the centre of the span but drop outwards and downwards in stages until they are almost horizontal towards the banks. It feels as if the bridge is open and welcoming as you approach and then gradually encloses you and protects you as you cross before opening out again as you reach the far side.

This folding is reminiscent of origami, of course, but it also looks a bit like the effect you get as pages of a book drop open.

There are three folds … the first just up from the bottom to form vertical at the bottom where the panel is attached to the side of the deck of the bridge so the next part is angled out. Then there is a fold up to form a vertical section that is more pronounced towards the centre and then, except on the outer tabs, a fold for a narrow almost horizontal section outwards to make what is, at the centre, the handrail of the bridge.

There is a striking contrast between the colour of the outside of the parapet in deep shiny iron-oxide red - rather like a Chinese lacquer red - and a matt grey inner surface and deck that is rubberised to reduce noise and provide better grip for bike tyres.

Sydhavnen - South Harbour - is an extensive area of new and ongoing redevelopment below HC Ørstedsværket - the power station at the south end of the harbour. The bridge is actually temporary and will only be here for about eighteen months before a permanent bridge - designed by the architectural practice COBE - is built to cross Frederiksholmsløbet to connect Enghave Brygge and Teglholmen.


5C - design project



Back at the beginning of May there was a post on the site about the new buses that have been put onto the 5C route through the city. But the buses are simply the most obvious part of a complicated and carefully co-ordinated design project.

New bus stops have been built along the route and the longer buses meant that bus bays had to be extended at some stops so the work was co-ordinated with the city roads planners. 

There is a clear colour scheme for the buses with a strong blue and rich yellow and this continues across textiles and graphics but this was not simply a matter of creating a new “house style” because it had to be seen as a step on from existing designs … not too close so it was boring or barely worth the obvious investment but not too much of a difference to require a steep learning curve. Staggering back from work or carrying loads of shopping and pushing a kids buggy you don’t need to be confronted by something so unfamiliar that you are not sure where to go or what to do.

There are far more doors to get on and off the buses so whereas before the entrance was generally at the front past the driver, the new buses can be entered at any of the five doors so there had to be new graphics to explain this and now the doors do not open automatically but with the press of a button … both on the inside but also on the outside. The machines for clocking in and out, some with options for adding extra passengers to your ticket, that have until now been found only on railway and metro platforms are now used actually in the buses.

There are novel features that reflect the much larger number of people on each bus so vertical poles at some points actually split into three - so more people can hold on - and at the articulated join of the two parts of the bus there are barriers to stop you falling against the concertina of the link but this bar is padded so you can use it as a bum rest if you are standing on the join between the two sections.

There are also much-improved graphics for passenger information at a high level - to be seen over people standing - and as the bus follows a long route with a lot of stops that cross other bus routes and rail stations the graphics on a long panel at the centre mark the progress of the bus and the options to change to other routes at each stop.

It would be interesting to know just how many designers were involved on the full project and what the timetable was to interact with quite so many different contractors. This is an extremely good example of just how important good design is even if, for many, it exists very much in the background of their lives. 



Karen Blixen Plads



Work has now started on clearing the ground and erecting temporary hoardings on Karen Blixen Plads at the centre of the south campus of the University of Copenhagen in North Ørested. The reorganisation of this important urban space by COBE will create valleys and low hills to provide storage for over 2,000 bikes but also create 

“a central urban living room connecting the three main entrances of the university buildings. The new square will be a campus landscape, offering high functional performance as well as recreational resource. The necessary infrastructure is turned into a three-dimensional student hang out.”

quote from Our Urban Living Room - Learning from Copenhagen Arvinius+Orfeus 2016

Entering the square at the north-west corner, walking from the metro station at Islands Brygge, and going through the wide opening under the buildings, then the space seems vast. From there to the canal to the east it is 185 metres and in width, from the blocks of the humanities buildings to the north front of the library, the square building at the centre of the area, is over 40 metres and from those northern buildings down to the arc of water in front of Tietgenkollegiet - the student housing by Ludgaard and Tranberg around a circular courtyard - is around 170 metres.



AI WEIWEI Soleil Levant, 2017



Charlottenborg and its gardens were constructed in the 1670s for the son of Frederik III but since 1753 the palace been the home of Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In part it was rebuilt by C F Hansen in the 1820s but the exhibition rooms date from the 1880s and it is the windows of the those buildings, facing towards the canal of Nyhavn, that have been barricaded with more than 3,500 life jackets collected from refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos.

The work by Ai Weiwei will remain at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg until 1st October 2017.

Soleil Levant at Kunsthal Charlottenborg


Ofelia Plads Live


This is the first full summer for events on the new public space on the harbour at Ofelia Plads in Copenhagen.

Ofelia Live

Nytt Rom 58



This is subtitled the 'påyfyll issue ved andre øyekast' which seems to translate as the refill issue at second sight … so here I take refill as referring to taking the top up of coffee and giving yourself time to think.

Certainly the magazine is packed with Inspiration and ideas … so for some the really must have … although for me it means that I really must go and look or I really should find out more.

There are book reviews here but more and more traditional publishing seems to be about following on behind the magazines and the on-line sites, to they do the retrospective - here a book on Modernist architecture - or there are more general compilations to inspire you so here The New Old House, about combining historic and modern architecture, and Creative Living Country.

In Nytt Rom, the product reviews are often presented in groups of three to a page … so in this issue the interesting combination of a desk tidy or small tool carrier from Eva Solo, a basket from Lena Bjerre and Cloth - a jug in 3D printed porcelain designed by Luca Nichetto for OTHR. The link here being I guess containers.

Or there are three interesting upholstered shell-shaped chairs - the You Lounge - also designed by Luca Nichetto - Lune by Jamie Hayon from Fritz Hansen and Asko by Patrick Norguet from Erik Jørgensen … so here you can do an important compare and contrast.

The magazine also does a really good job of putting together in one issue profiles that are linked so in this issue there are longer pieces on Ariake - a partnership of two furniture companies from Morodomi in the Saga prefecture in Japan - and makers of more traditional furniture at the Miyazaki Chair Factory.

There are good profiles of ….

The architects and furniture designers Björn Förstberg and Mikael Ling who trained in Lund and are now based in Malmö with photographs of their 'House for Mother' - a series of simple linked blocks with pitched roofs and walls covered in finely ribbed corrugated aluminium and much of the interior faced with plywood. A really interesting first house from the partnership.

And a profile of the industrial designer Jonas Stokke and his amazing Tjøme Chair with the prototypes made by boat builders from Risør.

There is the home of the young Lithuanian architect Saulius Bulavas who trained at the School of Architecture in Oslo - an apartment that has a raw and industrial feel - and a piece on the home of the interior designer Cecilie Holmboe - part of an ongoing series that looks at how designers and architects themselves live - but the photographs are refreshingly straightforward in their presentation so the interiors are tidy but not over styled for the photo shoot.

One review about the Primo Chair, designed by Konstantin Grcics for Mattiazzi  was interesting because of recent posts on this site . This is another of the 'basic' chairs.

There is so much more in the issue but it also has one aspirational article - so aspirational as in we can all dream - about an Airstream touring caravan with the interior designed by Søren Rose Studio that was photographed touring the highways or rather the back roads of Upstate New York.

I am Black Velvet - Erik Mortensen - Haute Couture



The Danish designer Erik Mortensen was born in Frederikshavn in 1926 and studied in Copenhagen as an apprentice to the fashion designer Holger Blom before moving to Paris when he was just 22 years old - to the House of Pierre Balmain - first as a student and then from 1951 as an assistant to Balmain. After the death of Balmain in 1982, Mortensen was appointed head designer of the fashion house.

He left Pierre Balmain in 1990 and from 1992 was head of design for Jean Louis Scherrer. 

More than seventy of the works that Mortensen created in Paris are shown in I am Black Velvet - a major exhibition at Designmuseum Danmark.

I can not claim to have any real interest in fashion and I do find the extravagance and ostentation of haute couture not just slightly alien but actually rather disconcerting … my inner puritan starts to come out … but even I have to admit that the quality and craftsmanship in these outfits is outstanding and the complexity of the shapes and silhouettes and the incredible richness of the colours is certainly dramatic.


I am Black Velvet at Designmuseum Danmark until 28th January 2018


normann copenhagen - discovering spaces



Discovering Spaces has been the most recent exhibition or reorganisation at Normann Copenhagen. 

In the long steel-lined entrance hall is a display of their chairs in some of the many possible configurations that can be chosen and then the large main ground-floor space beyond is now divided by tall blocks in strong colours and lengths of clear ‘butchers’ curtains that create a series of tightly-linked spaces and provide drama for the arrangement of their furniture and the clothing that is sold in the store.

The far high end wall of the space is now boldly striped in dark colours and lengths of carpet that continue down and across the floor.

Velvet-covered pouffs in the lower very pink gallery space are set in groups across the floor and across the ceiling and fixed to the walls … probably not an idea to try at home but actually what the display in the store does show is that blocking diagonal views, changing lighting from one space to another and breaking up space all add drama. Is this designers suggesting a move away from the New York loft look of large expanses of floor in concrete or wide boards … preferably distressed.

Maybe it’s because the Normann show room is in what was an old cinema or maybe it was the dramatic relaunch of the space last year but the glamour does seem to suggest that the inspiration might be less International Modern and more Art Deco.   

normann copenhagen


3daysofdesign at Design Werck

a light from Secto


Through the period of 3daysofdesign, the work of a number of designers and manufacturers from Finland were shown at the Design Werck gallery.

These companies included:

  • Nikari the well-established maker of furniture from Fiskars in Finland
  • Gedigo Piece from Naantali making kitchenware and household products - many combining wood and leather
  • Langø Home Textiles for woven textiles and bed linens.
  • Magisso - a company from Helsinki for glassware, ceramics, tableware and kitchenware
  • Feathr for bold distinctive wallpapers and textiles
  • Secto for distinctive and finely-made wood lamp shades



The event was organised with Finpro - the Finnish trade and tourism organisation - and was an important opportunity to look at good design from another Nordic country.




earlier posts on this site:

the 4210 floor lamp from Secto from September 2013

pendant lights from Secto from December 2013




Log Carrier in leather with a wood handle by Gedigo Piece

to quote:

"For us luxury is about the quality
of the item, the craftsmanship
and the story behind it.

"Inspired by the harsh, mysterious
Arctic and made of materials from
the pure Finnish nature." 


Four of the bold wallpaper designs from Feathr

to quote:

"Good design is for everyone.  We created FEATHR to put modern art into everyone’s hands via the medium of designer wallpaper, fabrics and cushions.  We’re not super-expensive and nose-in-the air-snobby.  We work smart and use modern digital tools to keep our company lighter than a Victoria sponge, whilst making sure a good slice of the cake goes straight to the artists.  We’re inspired by the like of Morris and Eames who wanted modern design to be for everyone."


Stacking glasses from Magisso and a selection of their jugs in a specially developed ceramic that when soaked in cold water uses evaporation to keep the contents cool

to quote:

"Best solutions grow from personal frustration."