... and in with the new

The start of a new year is probably as good a time as any to look carefully at how this blog does or doesn't work and to consider changes.

danish design review has been going for well over five years so one obvious problem is that there are now so many posts and so many photographs that it can be difficult to find things and inevitably some links, particularly links to other sites, may be broken. Over the next month or so, tags and categories will be reassessed and checked so some links might be changed so might not always work as expected but that is a work in progress. That’s basic housekeeping.

The quantity of material is also pushing limits so loading pages can be slow. One solution would be to compress image files but the photographs are an important part of these posts so images will keep as high a resolution as possible and continue to open in a full-screen slide show if you select them. Looking at analytics and at Google search it is interesting to see that the site comes much higher up the rankings if you search for a name or a topic by image rather than by text references.

Analytics also show that relatively few people come to the site on their phone but there are no plans to reduce content or clip it to make it phone friendly. Squarespace software does a good job of scaling content but posts are still aimed at readers who look at the site on a large lap-top computer or use a desk-top screen. I’ve just checked the stats and over 75% of readers look at this site on a desktop or laptop computer. Layout here is done on an high-resolution Apple A3 size screen and I guess that shows in what you see.

The focus for the News and for the Reviews over the rest of the winter and into the spring will be to look at housing and planning in Copenhagen. Huge areas of new residential buildings are going up on the old Carlsberg site and in new areas of the North and the South Harbour; there is extensive new work on land around the new Royal Arena in Ørestad and new apartment buildings are transforming the beach area of north-east Amager so this is a good time to see what has been completed and maybe a time to criticise.

Much is written about the important role that Denmark plays in design and in prestigious international building projects but the country has a long tradition of building good housing - after all Danes have to have somewhere to put all that good design - and the country has a well-deserved reputation for creating good well-planned towns with a high approval rating among residents and, on top of that, the country is ahead of many nations in trying to tackle the consequences of climate change so, as more and more people in the World are moving into more and more densely packed cities, Denmark's most important role as a driving force and model could actually be in urban planning and development.

A new series of posts here will look specifically at the townscape of Copenhagen to work out - or not - just why it is such a good place to live. There will also be a new series, long in the planning, to meet and talk to architects and designers and makers in the city to look at their work but also to find out why they are here in Copenhagen and how they see the future of design in the city.

In the Review half of the site it will be back to writing about more of the chairs designed in Denmark through the 20th century but there will also be a new and separate series of posts on chairs designed and made since the start of this century. In writing about designs from the 1940s and 1950s I kept realising that there were questions I really wished someone had asked those designers then about what they had done and why as they worked on a specific design … I'm hoping that I can ask some of those questions about designs now.


Krystallen, Nykredit Bank, Kalvebod Brygge, Copenhagen 2011 

Nykredit Headquaters, Kalvebod Brygge 2001



Just added to the list of architects that are in the menu that drops down from the top bar. These pages are not intended to be complete lists of buildings or a critical assessment but are for basic information, an introduction, and will be a place for links to exhibitions, reviews and information about new buildings.

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter


Næstvedgade Day Care Centre, Copenhagen (2004)


Slowly but hopefully surely more architects and designers are being added to the menus that drop down from the bar at the top of the site. These pages are simply a broad introduction to the work of an individual or a studio ... a quick reference point for a reader wanting to find links to a person or a company that has been the subject of a post so links will be added to existing works, to provide a context, or for new work or to web sites, exhibition details, and references to catalogues and monographs.

The latest addition is a brief summary of the works of the Copenhagen architects Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter.