Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design 2019

 

The exhibition for the prestigious Danish award for the crafts - the Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design - opened today at Nordatlantens Brygge / North Atlantic House in Copenhagen and continues until 5 May 2019.

Artists and designers selected to exhibit this year are:

Anett Biliczki
Helle Vibeke Jensen og Mette Saabye
Mariko Wada
Mia Lagerman
Signe Fensholt
Margrethe Odgaard
Ole Jensen
Kristine Mandsberg
Christina Christensen
Katrine Bidstrup
Kunstnergruppen RØRT: Ædelmetalformgiver og sygeplejerske Kristina Villadsen, Ædelmetalformgiver og arkitekt Maja Røhl, Ædelmetalformgiver og cand.comm. Maria Tsoskunoglu, Ædelmetalformgiver og grafiker Nanna Obel
Katrine Borup, Pernille Mouritzen og Bess Kristoffersen
Sarah Winther
Sarah Oakman og Maj-Britt Zelmer Olsen
Bitten Hegelund og Uffe Black
Bodil Manz og Jacob Manz
Charlotte Østergaard
Sisse Lee

Nordatlantens Brygge

Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere

Danish Design Awards 2019


This design prize is awarded by Design Denmark and the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen.

The awards go back to 1965 but in this form date from 2000 when the Industrial Design Prize and the Industrial Graphic Design Prize were merged.

Finalists were selected by a jury of 15 at the end of February and the Award Show will be at Dansk Industri / Danish Industry or DI at Industriens Hus on HC Andersens Boulevard - close to the city hall - on 13 May 2019.

 

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 an interesting post about the judging from Danish Design Awards

all 45 finalists selected for this year

 

Bauhaus #itsalldesign

Designmuseum Danmark, Bredgade 68, Copenhagen

A major exhibition has opened at Designmuseum Danmark on the history, the staff and their teaching and the work of the Bauhaus school of architecture and design.

This reassessment was conceived by Vitra Design Museum and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn to mark 100 years since the opening of the Bauhaus.

review to follow

the exhibition continues until 1 December 2019
Designmuseum Danmark

 

skud på stammen at Design Werck

Barndommens Land designed by Aske Foersom and made by Sara Ruff
En Gyngestol designed by Søren Nissen and made by Kasper Wium Kristiansen and Abia Manzanares
Bord designed by Tine Mouritsen and made by Gunver Lindeskov Søgaard

This week is the last opportunity to see the exhibition at Design Werck in Copenhagen of furniture made by students who are about to graduate as cabinetmakers. The students from next> in Copenhagen worked in partnership with designers and the furniture is made from lime wood from trees felled at the Rødovre City Hall when the main entrance courtyard was replanted.

SKUD PÅ STAMMEN continues at Design Werck until Sunday 10 March 2019
note: Design Werck does not open on Monday or Tuesday

Design Werck

Dedicate from Roon & Rahn

 

Back in August, when the design market FindersKeepers was at Øksnehallen in Copenhagen, there was a chance to catch up with some of the team from Roon & Rahn.

A fairly new design that they have added to their catalogue is a candle holder called Dedicate.

Product reviews as such are rarely given space here on this site but the candle holder is not just ingenious in itself but is cleverly packaged and presented and it demonstrates very well some of the best qualities that give the best Danish design an edge.

Roon & Rahn, a small design studio based in Aarhus, was established by Nicki van Roon and René Rahn Hansen. They have concentrated on producing a small number of designs including stools and tables - all with a distinct style - all made well with a concentration on technical details that takes their work closer to an engineering approach than to the work of a carpenter.

Their real skill is to tackle product design from a different direction … why simply try to design something slightly better than the competition when actually, if you take a step back, then it might be a good idea to try something very different to do the same job.

Dedicate could not be a better example. If you had to come up with objects the design market in Denmark should not need more of it would probably be more chairs and more candle holders. The new idea for Dedicate is that it comes with a twist … or, to be more accurate, it comes without a fold and bend that you provide … so it's a flat-pack candle holder although I'm not sure Nicki and René would see that as the most flattering description.

It is cut from a single piece of rose steel and comes in a manila envelope where you can add the name of the person you are giving it to - hence Dedicate. There is a clear set of instructions, so, as with all the designs from Roon & Rahn, deceptively simple but in fact very carefully-designed and really good packaging and graphics are a crucial part of their work.

Out of its envelope, you break off a small disc that will support the candle and then bend the main steel cut-out in two directions using the edge of a table to keep the main fold straight - and a standard candle is dropped down to be held on a short spike.

On the current catalogue from Roon & Rahn for 2018 there is a tag line "Passion for clever design". That sums it up pretty well.

 

Roon & Rahn

 

TRÆ, SAKS, PAPIR / Wood, paper, scissors

Karmstol, Stitched wood and a Skammel and Massive weaving

 

An important exhibition of recent work by the furniture designer and architect Else-Rikke Bruun has just opened at the gallery of the Association of Danish Crafts and Designers in Bredgade .

review 

Danske Kunsthåndværkere og Designere

Else-Rikke Bruun

 

the exhibition continues until 20 December 2018
Officinet, Bredgade 66, Copenhagen

Koglen / The Artichoke by Poul Henningsen 1958

 

Koglen / The Artichoke was designed in 1958 for the then newly rebuilt pavilion on the Langelinie promenade.

There are 72 leaves or petals to the light arranged in 12 lines of overlapping leaves or petals of graded size diminishing from top to bottom and angled out and down to control the light and obscure the light source to cut out glare.

With four sizes - of which the largest has a diameter of 840 mm and is 720 mm high with a weight close to 28 kilo - the lights have a dramatic impact - even in the largest space. The original lights had a copper finish although options now include versions painted white or with leaves in polished steel and, to mark the anniversary, there is a numbered edition in brushed brass.

Louis Poulsen

The Sympathy of Things

 

Perhaps it seems odd to recommend here a programme on BBC Radio about design when it was not specifically about architecture and design in Denmark but The Sympathy of Things that was first broadcast at the beginning of November raises what seems to me to be incredibly important general points.

The two programmes were presented by Amica Dall and Giles Smith of the architecture collective Assemble and they explored ideas about the designed and manufactured world and considered a wide range of problems about our relationship to the things that surround us everyday from "pavements and handrails to hairdryers and cereal bowls" and, along the way, asked the head of design why IKEA don't make toilets.

In our concerns about sustainability and in our growing uneasiness about global production, we may have reached a point of self doubt that is comparable to the conflict of feelings and soul searching about early factory-produced goods that, in the late 19th century, lead to the formation of the Arts and Crafts movement not only in England but also in Denmark and in other European countries.

We still seem to have an odd or at least an unresolved attitude to the relevant roles played by artists, craftsmen and designers and can be ambivalent about the benefits or not of mass production so now is certainly the time to consider and discuss this as we tackle issues like our use of natural resources, pollution from production and the growing impact of transporting goods from countries that have had low labour costs as the dominant economic model in a profit motivated society.

An important point made in the programme was that "there wouldn't be anything mass produced without the knowledge about how to do it by hand" but the problem is that as more and more is mass produced in remote countries, our skill base and, personally, our direct understanding of materials and how we use them is being lost.

Giles Smith suggested that “Learning to make things and to engage in richer more active relationships with materials can help you locate yourself in the world and witness your reliance on other people's skill and labour.” Is that indulgent … an attitude that is only possible in a wealthy country … or should it be a wakeup call for a World that seems increasingly disconnected?

 

The Sympathy of Things Part 1
The Sympathy of Things Part 2

Assemble

SHARING - an exhibition to celebrate completion of work on the entrance court of Designmuseum Danmark

 

Major work on the entrance courtyard of the deign museum in Copenhagen has just been completed.

The gate piers and ironwork across the street frontage of the 18th-century courtyard have been rebuilt; cobbles across the area relaid; the entrance and ticket area for the museum has been moved out to a pavilion on one side of the courtyard along with a small coffee shop.

Five free-standing display cabinets have been constructed so that objects from the collection can be brought out from the museum to the forecourt and the first exhibition in this revitalised space has opened.

For the first exhibition here on the entrance courtyard, new design is now being shown under the title SHARING. An information panel explains the ideas behind this major project and is quoted here in full ……. 

The works in these five new display cases on the entrance courtyard are ….

CLAYDIES
Ceramics by Karen Kjældgård-Larsen and Tine Broksø

KASPER KJELDGAARD
Dele al familien / Parts of the family 2018

MARGRETHE ODGAARD
Blå red violet / Blue Red Violet textile by Kvadrat

KIBISI / BIOMEGA Bjarke Ingels, Jens Martin Skibsted, Lars Holme Larsen
Elcykel / E-bike OKO Night Glow 2017

ASTRID KROGH
En firkant af universet / A Square of the Universe 2018 LED

L1310953.jpg
 
 

MONO - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition 2018

Piqué
designed by:
Hannes Stephensen
produced by: Snedkersind v/Kristian Frandsen

Sunrise
designed by:
Lise og Hans Isbrand
produced by: MoreWood Møbelsnedkeri ApS

 
 

The Cabinetmakers Autumn Exhibition for 2018 has just opened at Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen.

SE - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling - The Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition - is an association of 81 designers and manufacturers. Each year their board select a venue for their exhibition and set a theme along with any specific rules for a particular year - often to do with dimensions but this year also stipulating colour - so each work will be restricted to just one colour with the choice limited to either the natural colour of the material itself or to one of the strong and distinctive colours used in the original decorative schemes of rooms in Thorvaldsens Museum.

Each year, guest designers and guest manufacturers can apply to show their work. 

When setting the theme for this year, MONO was suggested to imply a range of associated ideas through monochrome, monolith, monopoly and monologue.

A subheading for the exhibition - furniture shaped by craftsmanship and insight - is important and significant: these pieces highlight the skills and the experience of the cabinetmakers who, in some pieces, take their chosen materials to new extremes and, in all the works, push their workshop techniques to the highest level of quality. So the exhibition is in part about the style and the form of each work but because, the cabinetmakers also represent a long and well-established craft tradition in Denmark, these pieces are about understanding the materials, to know what can be done and how, and to use incredible skills to shape, finish, join, refine or reduce the parts that make each work.

There are forty one works in the exhibition. Most were produced in a partnership between a designer and a cabinetmaker or furniture manufacturer - in many cases a  partnership that is now well-established over many years and over several projects shown at the Autumn Exhibition although several pieces were both designed and made by the same person.

The exhibition is also an opportunity to experiment or to produce designs that might otherwise not be commissioned … the aim is not only to challenge the skill of the maker but also to challenge the preconceptions of the visitor.

 

the Autumn Exhibition continues at Thorvaldsens Museum until 9 December 2018

Thorvaldsens Museum
SE - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling

Cupola drejestol / Cupola swivel chair
designed by:
Niels Gammelgaard
produced by: Northern Layers

En stol / A chair
designed by:
Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen
produced by: Kvist Industries A/S

Introvert position
designed by:
Andreas Lund
produced by: Toke Overgaard

Rum / Encircle
designed by:
Troels Grum-Schwensen
produced by: Malte Gormsen

2Gether
designed and made by:
Steen Dueholm Sehested

Bloom
designed by:
Hannes Stephensen
produced by: Egeværk

Beside
designed by:
Line Depping
produced by: Skagerak Denmark A/S

Guldlok / Goldilocks
designed by:
Monique Engelund
produced by: Sune Witt Skovhus

 
 

MONO - exhibition catalogue

 

The catalogue for the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition in 2018 at Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen has a general introduction to the exhibition by the selection board and then for each work there is a double-page layout with a full page black and white photograph for each of the works.

These monochrome images are dramatic and chime with the theme of the exhibition but also give a strong emphasis to the form of each work.

Some pieces have a descriptive or evocative name - so Calm or Look don’t touch and a cabinet for the display of special possessions has the title Ego - while other titles are more straightforward, with works described as Chair or Table and Chair.

Of course the catalogue sets out the name of the designer and the name of the cabinetmaker or the company who realised the work and each entry includes the materials and the dimensions of the piece.

There is also a short paragraph on each work to set out any thoughts that inspired the design or to talk about technical details - many of the pieces use material in an innovative way or the construction is much more complicated than is immediately apparent - and there is a translation in English.

Graphic design is by Studio Claus Due and the black and white photographs were taken by Torben Petersen.

Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / The Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition 2018

Thorvaldsens Museum

Studio Claus Due

 

Arne Jacobsen at Designmuseum Danmark

the newly repainted and rearranged display in the Jacobsen gallery at Designmuseum Danmark - the chair standing on the floor is The Ant designed in 1952 and in the case above, against a reproduction of the design Spirea from 1954, the Cylandline range from 1964-1967

The House of the Future designed by Arne Jacobsen with Flemming Lassen for an exhibition in 1929

 

Sometimes it can be as interesting to look at the display cases and the style of the information labels and the lighting in a museum as it is to look at objects on display … and, for obvious reasons, more so when you are in a design museum.

At Designmuseum Danmark they have a space dedicated to furniture designed by Arne Jacobsen. I'm not sure of the date of this display but I would guess that it is over twenty years old.

It is a substantial structure and is itself quite a design item so I can see exactly why it should be kept.

The space is actually square and is on a main through walk down the right-hand range of the museum but under a false ceiling, lit to throw light down into the space, there are three curved areas with raised platforms to make the space circular and that is where furniture by Jacobsen is displayed and there are two large shallow display cases recessed into the walls plus wall space for photographs and panels. These curved platforms pick up shapes in the House of the Future that was designed by Jacobsen in 1929 - in partnership with Flemming Lassen - and as the display includes a copy of a drawing for that house so the echo must be deliberate.

The advantage of this form of display is that the furniture is lifted clear of the floor, giving the pieces at least some protection, but the pieces can still be examined up close and raised up so anyone interested can see some of the details of the construction particularly on the underside.

 

earlier in the summer:
the chairs for St Catherine’s College Oxford; the chairs for the SAS Royal Hotel and a Grand Prix designed in 1957 and The Giraffe for the dining room of the SAS Royal Hotel

photographed this month:
desk and chair for Munkegård Elementary School; The Egg, a Swan Chair and The Drop for the SAS Royal Hotel designed in 1958; an Ant Chair from 1952 and the Skovsneglen / Paris Chair by R Wengler designed by Jacobsen in 1929

 

Display case with flatware AJ designed in 1957, a lamp for St Catherine’s College and the Vola range of taps from 1969

Cylinda line - ‘hollowware’ designed in 1967 and produced by Stelton

Jacobsen is without doubt one of the most important designers from the classic period of modern Danish design in the 20th century and is certainly the Danish designer who the most foreign visitors will know at least something about so I can see exactly why he is given this special treatment.

A recent remodelling of a space further along the same gallery pulls together in one place some of the works in the collection by Kaare Klint but presumably it is felt that to separate out other individual Danish architects or designers for the same treatment would be too greedy on space and make the museum displays rather too fixed in the works and the themes that they explore.

The Jacobsen gallery has just been redecorated and looks good for its fresh coat of paint and for the replacement of photographs that had begun to curl at the edges. What is more interesting is that some of the furniture has been moved around and new pieces brought in so chairs designed by Jacobsen for St Catherine's College in Oxford in the 1960s have been removed. These were less obvious key pieces in the history of Danish design although they show the most refined and most sophisticated use of plywood for furniture in any designs by Jacobsen. They have been replaced with a chair and a desk and a sample of the fabric designed by Jacobsen for Munkegaard Elementary School in the early 1950s.

The main chairs that Jacobsen designed for the SAS hotel in Copenhagen remain - the Egg, the Swan Chair and the Drop - all still in production sixty years later - but the Giraffe Chair that Jacobsen designed at the same time for the dining room of the hotel has gone back to store which is a pity because it shows a very different style and form of chair but just one that did not receive the same popular acclaim as the other designs.

My one criticism of the display is that it shows the ever-present Danish understatement and modesty about what Danish design did and does achieve.

The display cases show the cutlery and the glassware and lighting and so on that Jacobsen designed for the SAS Hotel and there is the absolutely remarkable thing. Arne Jacobsen designed the SAS Hotel, and the air terminal that was originally in the same building, in a style and with a method of concrete pouring that was barely known in Scandinavia and untried at the time in Copenhagen so just for the building design and construction a huge challenge. It is known that Jacobsen had a small drawing office - certainly very small by modern standards - and the core team was actually working in an office in his own home outside the city in Klampenborg in a way he had developed in both the first and the second house as well as this the third house he designed for himself and his family. Yet at the same time, and in a remarkably short period, he designed not just a complicated and challenging building, but also all the furniture including six chairs, at least two of which became truly iconic designs and four of which used innovative materials for an almost unique form of shell design (the first chairs were made with expanded polystyrene)  and he designed carpets, upholstery textiles and all the tableware needed for a large hotel and all equally innovative and all in a period of about five years.

This work by Jacobsen for the SAS Hotel is often described as a good example of gesamtkunstwerk - total design - but even in Denmark that should be taken to be a bit of understatement. Surely the hotel and its interior should be lauded as one of the most incredible personal achievements by any architect in the 20th century.

Designmuseum Danmark

 

MONO - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition

 

This year the venue for Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn exhibition is the Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen and the theme is Mono … each work will be restricted to just one colour with the choice of colour limited to either the natural colour of the material itself or to one of the strong and distinctive colours used in the original decorative schemes of rooms in the museum.

The works are also restricted in size to a maximum foot print 90cm by 90cm although the height is limited only by the height of spaces within the museum.

Below is publicity material published earlier in the year with the call for submissions to be considered by the exhibition selection committee. 

MONO - ’furniture with a maker’s touch’ opens on 2nd November 2018

 

MONO - a piece of furniture with a craftsman’s understanding
For Mono, this year's SE exhibition, furniture will be created that demonstrates an engagement and passion for shape, colour and material. Furniture that individually and together expresses quality but also a rhythmic, narrative and simple whole.

With MONO we want to create an exhibition consisting of single-coloured / MONOchrome furniture, furniture that emphasises the individual designer's personal message / MONOlog, and this in conjunction with Thorvaldsenś MONOlithic sculptures and Bindesbøll’s beautiful building

Background:
There are two strong personalities that emerge when you say Thorvaldsens Museum. Bertel Thorvaldsen, to whom the museum was built and whose works it contains and Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll who is the architect of the building. Both of them, through their work, represent great craft knowledge and a pursuit of the perfect. In addition, Thorvaldsen and Bindesbøll were incredibly adept at using the past in a new and modern way, Thorvaldsen through his new interpretations of ancient history and Bindesbøll through his personal way of using inspiration from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

This year's theme invites:
That the craftsmanship is challenged, perhaps through a new interpretation of the Danish furniture tradition.

That the inner "furniture thread" comes into play, preferably by combining new and old technology. Like Thorvaldsen and Bindesbøll, we strive for the perfect.

That through the materials, the form and the colour, the aesthetic and ethical presence of the furniture is reconsidered.

The goal is for newly thought-out furniture that expresses craftsmanship but also creates a narrative and simple exhibition in interaction with the two great masters.

Requirements for dimensions, materials and colours:
The furniture must have a maximum of 90x90 cm in the floor. The height is free but the furniture must be able to stand everywhere in the museum.

The furniture must be monochrome (one colour) and this can be either the wood's own colour or one of the colours from Thorvaldsen’s museum:

 
 

Louisiana Jubilæum 1958 / 2018 - the chair and the lamp designed by Vilhelm Wohlert

To mark the sixty years since the Modern Art Museum at Louisiana opened, the Louisiana Chair and the Louisiana Lamp have been re-released.

Both were designed by Vilhelm Wohlert who, with Jørgen Bo, was the architect for the museum and the chair and the pendant lamp can be seen in the museum restaurant that has been refurnished for the anniversary.

Louisiana Butik

 
  1. the Louisiana Chair displayed with the tall bar stools in the Butik at Louisiana

  2. the Louisiana Lamp in the Butik

  3. the chairs designed by Vilhelm Wohlert in the museum restaurant

  4. the taller stools with back rest in the museum restaurant

 

Practice Futures

 

A major exhibition, Practice Futures, has opened at KADK - the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

The full title of the exhibition is Technology in Architecture, Practice Future, Building Design for a New Material Age, and this is an import examination of that area, if you see it in terms of a Venn Diagram, where the disciplines or professional expertise of architecture, engineering, techniques of construction and the development and the technology of materials meet and overlap.

Fifteen research projects are presented here from international PhD students working in six major European research departments and working with fourteen established partners including major architectural practices, engineering companies and construction companies.

These ongoing studies are reassessing well-established materials such as timber and concrete and rediscovering or reassessing or developing techniques to shape, bend, finish and join materials to achieve new forms of construction such as large scale, computer-controlled extrusion or printing and the development of new materials for large-scale building projects. 

This is about new tools and new approaches for reassessing traditional materials and established craft techniques but also about using computers to assess complex information; to solve unconventional design problems and to control systems for constructing new forms and new types of building. 

Projects presented here are prototypes to demonstrate customised solutions to realise challenging new construction projects that not only have to take into account the need for high energy conservation but also have to tackle rapidly-developing problems or social pressures from population growth, and, as a direct consequence, find new solutions to the demands of cities that are growing at an unprecedented speed. This is construction design trying to deal with political and economic constraints and with the added and pressing demands of global climate change.

KADK Udstillingen og Festsalen
Danneskiold-Samsøes Allé 51-53
1435 København K

the exhibition continues until 7 December 2018

 

Sustainable Chairs - Nordic Design Competition

hjemmeside_nordic_chair.jpg
 


Organised through The Nordic Council of Ministers, there is a competion to design a sustainable chair that takes into account sourcing of materials and production and distribution but also considers use and disposal … a complex and demanding design brief.

The closing date for submissions is the 3rd October 2018. A short list will be drawn up with a maximum of ten designs from each of the Nordic countries. The winner from each country will be shown in the Nordic Pavilion at COP24 - the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice in Poland in December 2018.  

There are details on the web site of Danske Kunsthåndværkere and Designere

 

CHART Architecture - the Pavilions

FRAME
designed by Malte Harrig, Karsten Bjerre and Katrine Hoff

 

In the two large courtyards of Kunsthal Charlottenborg are five pavilions … the setting for what is called CHART SOCIAL.

These pavilions or CHART ARCHITECTURE are the winning designs from an open competition held earlier in the year for young architects and architecture and design students.

 

 

OPEN RESOURCE
by Dennis Andersson, Mikkel Roesdahl and Xan Browne

THE MANY CHAIRS PAVILION
by Sofia Luna Steenholdt, Joachim Makholm Michelsen, Emil Bruun Meyer and Casper Philip Ebbesen

TIGHT KNIT
designed by Jan Sienkiewicz

SUM OF US: A CLOUD OF HUMAN EMOTION
designed by Sean Lyon in collaboration with Space 10

 

Dansk Møbelkunst at CHART DESIGN FAIR

 

Dansk Møbelkunst are one of twelve galleries exhibiting at Den Frie in Copenhagen for CHART DESIGN FAIR. They showed some superb and unusual or rare modern furniture and, as always, of the very highest quality. There was a pair of chairs designed by Kaare Klint in 1931 and called Mix. Edvard Kindt- Larsen may have collaborated in the design of these leather-covered arm chairs that were produced first by the cabinetmaker N C Jensen Kjær and then by Rud. Rasmussen.

Also shown was one of the high-backed chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen for the top table in the hall of St Katherine’s College in Oxford and a set of three of the bed-side drawer units originally in the Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen.

Den Frie

Dansk Møbelkunst

 
 
L1290431.jpg
 

LOKAL at CHART DESIGN

 

The Finnish gallery LOKAL were at CHART DESIGN at Den Frie. They showed several pieces by the company Nikari who have their workshops in the historic settlement of Fiskars to the west of Helsinki.

Edi Table by the Norwegian design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune was designed in 2015; the Café Skandi stool by Kari Virtanen is from the same year and from 2009 the Nikari Linea Chair is by the Swiss-born designer, carpenter and teacher Rudi Merz.

Nikari were established in the 1960s and have built up a reputation for making furniture of the very highest quality. They follow the well-established practice of cabinetmakers in Copenhagen in that they work closely in partnership with a number of the best designers on specific projects and these will certainly be the collectors’ pieces of the coming decades. However, furniture should be chosen because you really like it and it fits with what you want for your home … good furniture used everyday enhances our lives. If furniture holds its value or even appreciates then that is surely just a bonus?

Looking at the Linea chair carefully you can see features and details of the techniques of the carpenter that are distinct from Danish designs and these differences are important … marketing furniture from the Nordic countries in a co-ordinated campaign, where possible, does make sense, but only if it does not erode the distinctions that give the different designers and the different companies their personalities and clearly discernible styles. To produce a generic ‘Nordic style’ could, in essence, be done by any designer anywhere but nurturing distinct national talent gives the ‘brand’ - if that is what you want - a stronger and a much more dynamic future.  

Nikari

Abstracta by Kasper Akhøj from Galleri Feldt

 

Galleri Feldt were at CHART DESIGN at Den Frie gallery in Copenhagen with a fascinating show of the display system designed by Poul Cadovius in 1960. 

It was a modular system with metal tubing connected by knuckled joints to form cubes of different sizes to create a flexible display system for exhibitions. The joints were the key to the system - each with up to six prongs in eight different shapes. Cadovius even used scaled up frames to construct geodesic-style domes that were used at the Copenhagen Furniture Fair in 1961. 

A module of the system is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art - donated by the business man Charles Mauro after he negotiated with Cadovius to manufacture and sell the tubing and the links or joins in the USA. 

In 2006, when travelling through the countries of the former Yugoslavia, the Danish artist Kasper Akhøj was intrigued by what seemed to be an almost ubiquitous display system surviving in shops and department stores but also used on the street for market stalls. 

Then, and on subsequent trips over the following twelve years, he pieced together the story of how the Danish system was produced first in China and sold to the Yugoslavian state and then was manufactured in various forms in Yugoslavia … the spread of the system reflecting the complex political situation and an uneasy relationship with the concept and then the reality of consumerism in a communist political system. Akhøj  acquired pieces and their packaging and part of the collection was on show at Den Frie.

Galleri Feldt have produced a pamphlet - a folded poster - with text by Ronah Sadan setting out the story. To quote the conclusion ……

… the history embedded in the structures Akhøj produces, imbues them with ontological instability and, by extension, turns them into symbols for the vulnerability of artistic agency: as Abstracta’s fate ultimately eluded Cadovius’ control, the fate of Akhøj’s work - and of works of art in general - is ultimately not in its originator’s hands.”