By Lassen for 3daysofdesign

Mogens Lassen in his studio


The brothers Mogens and Flemming Lassen were born at the beginning of the 20th century. They were contemporaries and friends of Arne Jacobsen - the three were at school together - and all three went on to be architects and furniture designers becoming well-established by the early 1930s. Flemming Lassen and Jacobsen worked together to design Søllerød Town Hall and its furniture and fittings completed in 1942.

The company By Lassen was formed by younger generations of the family to continue the production of designs by Mogens and Flemming Lassen. 

For 3daysofdesign their store in Holbersgade in Copenhagen had special displays for visitors with the main level just up from the street laid out as an apartment furnished with designs from the collection and at the lower level - a few steps down from the street - Mogens Lassen’s work room and desk had been recreated with historic photographs, original possessions and early and trial versions of production pieces that are still owned by the family.

There were also architectural drawings and historic photographs of buildings designed by the Lassens - again from the family collection of archive material.

By Lassen, Holbergsgade 20, Copenhagen

desk and work space of Mogens Lassen recreated in the store with artifacts and archive drawings and historic photographs owned by the family


the work desk with a prototype of the Kubus candle holder designed by Mogens Lassen in 1962


Chair ML33 by Mogens Lassen

My Own Chair designed by Flemming Lassen


Stool ML42 from By Lassen


As one of the activities arranged at By Lassen for 3daysofdesign, Søren Lassen - the grandson of Mogens Lassen - talked about the famous three-legged wooden stool ML42 designed in 1942 and still produced by the company.

Visitors to the store were told about the construction of the seat itself and how that is finished and then shown how the legs are fixed to the seat and how the shoulder of the housing and the top of the leg are sanded and smoothed before the oak is then treated or finished with oil.


3daysofdesign at Frederiksgade 1


working drawings shown by Overgaard & Dyrman along with many of the tools that they use to make their metal and leather chairs


The large apartment building at Frederiksgade 1 is close to the Marble Church and has been hemmed in by engineering works for the new metro station so for several years the front entrance has been reduced to a sort of narrow alley fenced across by high dark-green hoardings and has had a ‘temporary’ wooden ramp over the front stone steps. 

But this building is home to an amazing group of design companies. In fact it connects through to the furniture store nyt i bo that is sort of across the courtyard at Store Kongensgade 88 … sort of because at upper levels all the apartment spaces, all round the courtyard and above nyt i bo, are occupied by design companies. For design in Copenhagen it is - to use a word I hate using - a hub.

Here there are offices or studios or display space for House of Finn Juhl, File Under Pop, Helle Flou, Overgaard & Dyrman, PLEASE WAIT to be SEATED, Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt and others … and, of course, across the top of the whole thing, Getama.

For 3daysofdesign nyt i bo hosted a number of pop-up displays and demonstrations by companies including dk3 and Sika-Design.

One of the entries in the programme for 3daysofdesign describe the place as a “creative society” and packed out with visitors on the first evening I guess that is a much better description of the place than as a hub.


Weaving Kiosk at Frederiksgade



Weaving Kiosk had a loom working at Frederiksgade and showed some of the work they produce.

Rosa Tolnov Claussen and the Finnish fashion designer Merja Henele Ulvinen work together to run a series of weaving classes that introduce the craft skill to people who have not woven textiles before and they have designed pieces, like the backpack/bag, that students taking the classes can produce and take away with them … both the bags shown here were on loan from the new weavers who made them.

This is not about a nice hobby for weekends - though it could certainly be that - but neither is it about some sort of extreme political angst about people taking back the means of production. 

But it seems to me that important initiatives like this are about making people aware of a strong tradition of making by hand the objects we need and use everyday. And by making design less about consumerism or passive search and buy - unless you define activity as swiping a finger across the screen of a phone or iPad - and certainly more about understanding materials and appreciating how things we use are made and understanding how it is possible to find good design that we like and good design that should - even if it is in a simple way - enhance our lives every time we use what we have.  

And it seems to me that having makers, craftsmen and designers, working in the community rather than out on an industrial estate or in an open-air museum - should inspire us and inspire our kids to be fascinated by designing and making and producing so they understand much more about what they are buying. If children don’t see a work bench, how do they know they could one day be a cabinet maker and if they don’t see a potter at a wheel how do they understand how, by stages through our history, people have found ways to make wet clay into useful or beautiful pots or pots that are actually both useful and beautiful. Without handling yarn and making textiles how do we understand the different characteristics of linen or cotton or wool and how can we really appreciate the different textiles we buy? 

Weaving Kiosk



Barbry Stool by Aurelien Barbry

The Danish furniture company Fredericia have moved from a store in Frederiksborggade in Copenhagen to a new display space in Løvstræde that is on the upper floors of the recently restored old post office building. There are large, well-lit spaces for displaying the furniture and, from the upper level, amazing views over the roof scape of the old city.

For 3daysofdesign Fredericia showed new pieces that were set out in a striking series of canvas domes and they showed the new textiles from Kvadrat, designed by Raf Simmons, that they are using for upholstery on some of their furniture.


There is a small area with a display of historic drawings and old photographs that trace back Fredericia's collaboration with some of the major designers of the 20th century since the company was founded in 1911. They still manufacture the famous leather sofa - Model 2213 - designed by Børge Mogensen in 1962 - his Spanish Chair designed in 1958 and the Søborg series of chairs by Mogensen from 1950.

Furniture designed by other great names from the Classic period of Danish design include chairs by Hans Wegner and works by Nanna Ditzel including the Trinidad Series but Fredericia have also commissioned major designs from some of the best designers of the late 20th century and from young designers working now including the Kile sofa by Jasper Morrison, the Stingray Series from Thomas Pedersen, the Haiku Series by GamFratesi and the Pato Collection by Hee Welling and Gudmundur Ludvik.

Their collection of furniture is renowned for its quality but Fredericia is also notable for their outstanding use of colour and for the tailored look of their upholstery that uses strong colour combinations and fabrics with contrasting textures to emphasise the shape and form of chairs and sofas.



Model 2213 designed by Børge Mogensen in 1962

Kile Sofa by Jasper Morrison

Haiku in the high model from 2012 and low back version from 2015 by GamFratesi

Spine daybed by Space of Copenhagen 2016

Stingray Series designed by Thomas Pedersen

House of Finn Juhl for 3daysofdesign

For 3daysofdesign The House of Finn Juhl opened their showroom at Nordre Toldbod in Copenhagen to show their furniture designed by Finn Juhl. 

This year Copenhagen is celebrating the anniversary of the formal diplomatic relationship between Denmark and Japan that now dates back 150 years … a connection between the two countries that is particularly important for the House of Finn Juhl because some of their collection is made at workshops in Japan and the House of Finn Juhl Hotel - the Hotel Hakuba - has opened in Nagano and is furnished completely with furniture designed by Juhl.

So, for the events at Nordre Toldbod, it was appropriate that they served noodles - very good noodles - but to drink they offered people beer supplied by Mikkeller and that was served from the back of an old Morris 1000 Traveller that is kitted out with a bar.

Being too clever for my own good I said it was a Morris Minor - there was a Morris Major - but it was known affectionally as a “Moggie Thousand.” It was only when someone asked why that I realised that I wasn’t sure.


Several families we knew had a Morris Traveller at various times in their lives, particularly when they had young children, because they have a surprisingly good load space with good wide doors and in the 50s and 60s smaller estate cars were not that common and that was long before any car maker had even thought up the idea of a hatch back. The only trouble was the Traveller tended to get wood worm and rot.

When I was a kid, we had a Morris Minor but it was the soft top or convertible version which probably sounds quite stylish but dad bought it as a bargain because the roof leaked and the floor pan had rusted so water came up from the road when you drove over puddles and for long journeys we tended to wear wellington boots in the car. 

What was worse … much worse … was it had been painted mauve by the previous owner and painted badly. 

To be honest I found it a bit embarrassing … particularly the pretty pretty mauve at a time when most cars were still black … so I tended to slump down in the seat, below the sill line, in case I was spotted by school mates, though I guess everyone knew it was our car.

After getting back from Nordre Toldbod, I dug through the old photos and found this. 

From the state of the garden it must have been just as we moved into the new house in 1959. I do remember that the house was described as “executive housing” though that can’t explain why I was wearing a suit and tie and, to be honest, neither dad nor the car look as if they are straight off the set of Mad Men.

I can’t even remember who took the photo but what I do remember is that just after it was taken my brother … him of the snazzy tartan trousers … decided to be helpful and shut the front door but with us outside and all the house keys inside. It meant calling the police and it became even more exciting when a patrol car turned up and a young copper appeared with a length of wire to hook open the door latch by trying to reach it through the letter box. It seemed like a good idea but he obviously had not had much practice breaking into houses and slipped putting his knee through the glass of the door. At least we got in by reaching carefully through the large hole in the glass to turn the latch.

None of this is relevant to a design blog except that for historians of design the Morris 1000 was produced from 1948 onwards and so is contemporary with Wegner’s Round Chair though I’d be hard pushed to come up with stylistic connections for any sort of zeitgeist.

For my parents this house was an important sign that they and England were finally moving away from the austerity of the years immediately after the war and through the 1960s they bought new furniture for the house including a Danish sofa and armchairs from France & Son. The company made the original Japan Settee by Finn Juhl - which could have been a neat rounding off for this tale - but, in fact, we had the sofa and chairs with teak frames designed by Greta Jalk.


chairs by Finn Juhl shown at Nordre Toldbod


For 3daysofdesign the gallery and function room at Nordre Toldbod 23 showed a range of furniture from The House of Finn Juhl.

With many of the chairs that were designed by Finn Juhl in the 1940s and 1950s now relaunched and in production by the company, it is possible to see how these designs evolved and to see how many of the key elements for each are repeated but modified to create such a distinct style.

Many of the chairs have curved and shaped wood arms; there are generally separate upholstered seat pads and back rests - in several chairs in the shape of an elongated shield  - in most with back rests held between the back uprights of the frame.

All the chairs have thin and elegant tapered legs, with shaped or turned cross rails and thin shaped tension struts and this required skilled work by the cabinet makers to create such complex frames and dramatic sculptural forms.


a sofa by Finn Juhl .....

In 1999 Ivan Hansen and Henrik Sørensen were approached by Hanne Wilhelm Hansen, the widow of Finn Juhl, to produce a single issue of the 57 sofa to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of the designer. The success of that collaboration was the beginning of a strong and enduring working relationship and OneCollection has now relaunched over forty designs by Juhl.

House of Finn Juhl


46 sofa 1946 - relaunched 2008

57 sofa 1951 - relaunched 2009

Baker sofa 1951 - relaunched 2009

Japan sofa 1953 - relaunched 2007


Anker & co


Anker at Århusgade 120 in Copenhagen represent a number of leading lighting manufacturers including the Venetian company Barovier & Toso, Catellani & Smith from Bergamo, the Belgian manufacturers Wever & Ducré, the Austrian company XAL from Graz and the Swedish lighting company Wästberg.

One interesting display showed the effect of different light sources not just on the overall tone and warmth or coolness of the light but, by using a set of colouring crayons in each section, showed how different colours are changed by the different sources of artificial light.



Kvadrat for 3daysofdesign


Kvadrat are an interesting design company in terms of branding. Even if you ask people in Denmark who are outside the world of design - and they do exist - most know the name and the fabrics. In England I’m not sure that anyone, outside the business of making or selling furniture, would be able to name the company and not always then or, if given the name, would be able to say what they make which is interesting because nearly every backside in the UK will have sat on a Kvadrat fabric.

At 3daysofdesign, the company made an appearance in many different events throughout the city so the new range designed by Raf Simons was shown at the furniture store Paustian in Nordhavn and featured at Fredericia in the city centre.

At Pakhus 48, Kvadrat’s own showrooms in Nordhavn, there were amazing and fascinating masks designed by GamFratesi using fabric designed by Giulio Ridolfo.


Paustian, Kalkbrænderiløbskaj 2

upholstery fabrics by Raf Simons shown at Fredericia


Really at Kvadrat


Sometimes you come across a design or a product that had not been on the radar - but it stops you in your tracks. It's like driving along a road and suddenly there is an amazing view and you can’t help yourself and just go wow.

Well it was a bit like that on seeing Really at Kvadrat at Klubiensvej in Nordhavn on Thursday.

In part, this was because I had seen nothing on the internet about Really so, for once, this was the impact of something that appeared to be very new and came out of the blue ........ or maybe it just shows that I’m not going through the design magazines with enough care or attention because Really was shown in Milan.

Probably the best way to start is to quote the introduction in a catalogue from Really:

“Responding to the urgent global issue of waste, Really upcycles textiles to create materials that challenge the design and architectural industries to rethink their use of resources and to design their products with a circular economy in mind.”



The result is new Acoustic Textile Felt and Solid Textile Board - a new building board. These are made from end-of-life textiles - for instance, worn-out bedding from large laundry companies - and the process does not use toxic chemicals or water or dyes. At the end of their own useful life the felt and boards can be “re-granulated” to feed the start of a new product so hence that concept of circular design.

Solid Boards come in different gauges and can be cut and put together for furniture with many of the same techniques as plywood. Thicker boards even have the same impression of layers as plywood with white cotton used for the core layer and coloured outer layers in Cotton White, Cotton Blue, Wool Slate and Wool Natural and that can be more obvious when several thinner layers are combined to form a heavier or thicker gauge of  board ... for instance for table tops. 

Boards can be cut, drilled or milled, sanded and planed, laser cut and glued. Surface treatments are also similar to the finishes for plywood with lacquer, oil or wax.

In the display at Kvadrat, a number of bold benches and tables designed by Max Lamb were shown along with a mood board collection of samples and ideas that, in a good way, reminded me of lino cutting … not the prints but the tangible qualities of the linoleum itself with all the various options you have for depth and sharpness of cut that reveal the layers down from the smooth matt surface and also because the boards themselves have some of that warmth and softness of colour that is a distinct characteristic of simple linoleum.


Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik at Pakhus for 3daysofdesign


Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik have offices and display space out at Pakhus 48 in Nordhavn where they are in one of the huge former warehouses along with Vola, the tap and bathroom fittings company, and with Kvadrat, the Danish textile company. Joint events here on the first evening of the three days are a very popular high point.


Not only is this a good opportunity to see the furniture from Jørgensen in the generous space and in the natural light of the warehouse but for 3daysofdesign - they had rebuilt Portal ..... an installation designed for the Milan furniture fair in the Spring by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, working with Jørgensen.

An oak ladder covered in leather appears to be standing free between two round mirrors to create an infinite sequence of images but this is not simply a visual game because it also demonstrates the craftsmanship of fine leatherwork from Jørgensen.



Pakhus 48 has large windows that look south down the harbour so the space has bright natural light - particularly in the afternoon - with strong shadows and very strong patches of light across the floor and with light reflected up that comes up off the water so it can be dramatic anyway, even without mirrors and with a lot of people around for the opening and a fair bit of wine the whole thing was a bit disconcerting.

Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik




MENU at Nordhavn - the new North Harbour district


Menu - the kitchenware, home accessories and furniture company - have just opened a dedicated Menu studio. display space and a cafe in the new harbour district in Nordhavn in Copenhagen.


Menu, Hamborg Plads 2, Nordhavn


Erik Jørgensen + Montana in Bredgade

At the start of 3daysofdesign - the Copenhagen event when stores and galleries and design studios have open house - there was an official launch for a new joint venture for the Danish furniture companies Montana and Erik Jørgensen for the opening of their new design studios and show rooms on Bredgade - just beyond Designmuseum Danmark - in the street of top-end design stores, antique dealers, auction houses and galleries.

The partnership or rather their co-habitation will be interesting to follow. 



Erik Jørgensen was founded in 1954 by a saddle maker and upholsterer and the company has a well-established reputation for extremely well-made furniture from a back catalogue of important designs by furniture designers of the classic period including Hans Wegner and Poul Volther … Jørgensen manufacture the Ox Chair by Wegner from 1961 and the Corona Chair by Volther that was designed in 1958.

However, Jørgensen have also commissioned contemporary and young designers for important new furniture designs including the Hector and the Bow sofas from Anderssen & Voll and Shuffl from Anne Boysen. Of course these designs make full use of the company’s skills in upholstery … particularly for upholstery over what appear to be difficult or at least unconventional shapes.

These pieces are exceptionally well made and robust so the company is generally seen as a contract design company that is well used by architects, and designers for top-end commercial interiors. A main office and display space out at Nordhavn, at Pakhus 48, will remain but Bredgade is clearly a move into the more domestic side of the furniture market although not into direct retail.



Montana was founded in 1982 and is well known for both their very confident use of strong colours and for their storage systems that are now so extensive that they can be combined for almost any space and any storage needs. 

What the two companies have in common is an incredible sense of design self confidence. So this should now be the place to take anyone who tells you that they find Danish interiors too white, too bland for their taste and just too much pale soaped oak.

Montana will keep their retail space at the city-centre end of Bredgade - on the corner of Sankt Annæ Plads - but this second building in Bredgade will be a major venue for their studio and sales staff.


For anyone fascinated by design, but not working in the industry, it is easy to under appreciate just how important commercial sales are to many large design companies so this building is not where you can wander in off the street to buy a chair or a book shelf but is the place for meetings and serious sales and to inspire potential customers with strong shapes in strong and often unconventional arrangements or colours although it seems more than likely that the Bredgade studio will feature as the backdrop in photo shoots.

What makes it interesting to look around studios like this during events like 3daysofdesign is that you begin to get at least some idea of just how important a visually inspiring work environment is for people working in design day in and day out. Owners of good wine shops presumably don’t drink any old super-market plonk in the office and great restaurants presumably don’t expect their senior staff to eat beans on toast so definitely no table tennis here or kids’ slides from one floor to the next.

Erik Jørgensen



the Swedish Embassy for 3daysofdesign


The Swedish Embassy on Sankt Annæ Plads was the venue for an interesting temporary exhibition with an assessment and overview of Swedish design from the late 1990s through to 2016.

In the main suite of rooms on the first floor that overlook the square was furniture from the Swedish company DUX and an exhibition by Smaller Objects.


the vaulted passageway from the courtyard out to the square


Smaller Objects at the Swedish Embassy


Many of the pieces in the Smaller Objects collection have been designed by the Swedish architecture and design studio of Claesson Koivisto Rune but there is also a Swedish stoneware bowl, some glass from Italy and objects designed and made in Japan.

What unites all the objects is not just the very high quality of the materials used but the pieces have that hall-mark of design at the highest level in that form, function and material are balanced. In fact, it is that balance of form, function and material that makes these objects minimal in the most obvious sense … in that you realise as you look at and then you hold the objects, it would be very very difficult to add anything more or take anything away without destroying that balance. These objects are refined - not in the sense of being polite and cultivated - though they are that too - but in the sense that the design has been refined or reduced down to that point where it looks and feels right. Good minimal design is about reduction … not about going straight for the basic.

These objects also demonstrate that incredibly important aim for the best design when actually you realise that although the piece appears, at first, to be primarily about appearance and style … what, in fact, is crucial is the obvious and careful consideration of how the pieces function to make even an everyday task more enjoyable. 

The Japanese notebook is a good example where you realise that here is something that not only is beautifully made - with the experience that comes through a manufacturer who has long-established craft skills - but how someone uses a notebook has been carefully reconsidered so that even turning back a pre-cut tab to mark a place becomes a simple pleasure. That probably sounds precious or pretentious but one clear reason for - maybe the justification for - designing something that is better - or is more beautiful or is better made in beautiful materials - is that the finished object should enhance life every day when doing everyday things.



editor's note:

the images are set to scroll through automatically but holding the cursor over an image should halt the change to the next image and should reveal information about the object

Hay for 3daysofdesign

For 3daysofdesign, the design company Hay have taken over Lindencrones Palæ on Sankt Annæ Plads (Lindencrone’s Palace on Saint Anne’s Square). So going to this event was an opportunity to look around a pretty amazing building but for Hay it gave them dramatic settings for their furniture, lighting and kitchen and tableware. One large room had the Result Chair and Pyramid Table … maybe a first for a display designer or stylist to have so much space that they could stack so many tables so high.

Just in terms of general design principles, the show highlighted again an important aspect of Danish interiors … that in many Danish homes furniture and fittings of very different periods and styles are deliberately mixed together … so starkly modern lighting or steel and glass furniture in an old apartment that has panelling or ornate plasterwork and sash windows - though perhaps not often on the scale of this Palæ. 

Or in a starkly modern home you will find either a carefully-chosen chair from the classic period of Danish design in the 1950s and 60s or old and much-loved pieces of furniture that have been inherited.

One general but simple lesson here in the Hay display was that choosing tableware and so on carefully and then using multiples but leaving it all out as open storage on display can look pretty good.

For Hay, the building also provided an impressive setting for showing off, with pride, their latest products and for welcoming and entertaining visitors who could sit in the calm and quiet of an old entrance passage used as a temporary cafe or people could have a coffee out in the sun of the courtyard that has been fitted out with Hay’s Palissade furniture. 





3daysofdesign started today and - along with all the tourists in the city at this time of year - you can spot a lot of people clasping this little book and walking purposefully from studio, to gallery to showroom.

Most have that mastery of dressing stylishly while trying to make it look effortless … the oh-this … just something I found when I was in Japan since I saw you last in Milan look. Grossly unfair that I point that out and only said because it all makes me feel hopelessly scruffy and hopelessly inefficient. 

I actually live here and end up standing in the middle of the pavement looking backwards and forwards along the street trying to make up my mind which way to go to waste least time.

The little blue guide can be found on stands outside each venue and inside the studios and stores and is actually a brilliant who-is-where guide to design in the city even if you can’t get to Copenhagen for 3daysofdesign.



update - Liquid Life


Although the biennale exhibition of Danish craft at Museumsbygningen closed at the weekend, several of the works have been moved across the city and can now be seen at the gallery of Danske Kunsthåndværkerere & Deisignere - the Danish Crafts and Design Association - in Copenhagen at Bredgade 66.

DKoD Bredgade 66


update - the International School in Copenhagen a year on

May 2016

May 2017


The International School in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn - the new North Harbour district - was designed by CF Møller. It will be served by a new metro station with the elevated line and the new station currently under construction. 

It is the scale of the building first and then its colour that makes the real impact. 

There are 12,000 solar panels on the exterior covering an area of over 6,000 square metres.

C F Møller