The annual design event - 3daysofdesign - is just a week away.

With so many places to go and people to see it is worth trying to plan your route but, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men …..

If this sounds like hype then I’d just point out that, looking at the list of events, there are over 70 companies, studios, designers and design stores taking part this year and some of the larger companies have lectures or discussions or receptions on each of the three days and with events at two more venues.






3daysofdesign in Copenhagen is now a massive event where design companies, design stores and many of the manufacturers open their doors to show what the city does in the world of design. It's an opportunity to launch new designs or new versions of classic designs or to launch new companies or celebrate significant anniversaries.

There are events at Designmuseum Danmark and at other galleries and museums through the city and workshops and demonstrations are common but it is also a major chance for designers and makers and companies to socialise … it comes after the pressure of the big furniture fairs of Stockholm and Milan and really is a key point on the calendar to mark the start of summer.

This year there were some 90 venues across the whole city and even a cyclists, powering around the streets, would be hard-pressed to get to everything at the right time in the right sequence.

So the following posts are not the highlights but my highlights from the three days.

&Tradition for 3daysofdesign



Until recently, &Tradition had their showrooms and studio on Paper Island, right in the centre of the city, but those former warehouses, where the newspaper industry had stored paper for printing - so hence the name - are being demolished to make way for a major redevelopment of apartments and a new inner-city swimming pool.

So &Tradition have moved across the city and are now established in a fine 18th-century town house that overlooks the King's Garden.


The change could hardly be more dramatic. Visiting the new showrooms and new studio and offices of the design company for the first time was one of the most interesting revelations of 3daysofdesign … or rather one of the most amazing and, to be honest, one of the most appropriate and clever transformations for a design company I have seen.

Don't get me wrong …. the old showroom, designed by the Copenhagen architects Norm, was dramatic with impressive space but the collection always looked slightly lost and, to be honest, it was difficult to make that step to imagining how that furniture might look in the sort of spaces we actually occupy.

the old studio on Paper Island

Furniture and lighting from &Tradition has been the usual mix of most Danish design companies ... so good classic designs - like the Mayor Sofa designed by Arne Jacobsen and Flemming Larsen in 1939 or the Flower Pot light by Verner Panton from 1969 - alongside new furniture commissioned from designers like Jaime Hayon.

With the move of location comes a new tag line … &Tradition Home of a Collector. It takes the furniture up a notch or three to break away from the crowded middle ground of Danish design companies and puts the furniture into a clearly domestic but very comfortable setting. This is Copenhagen interiors at their most stylish.


The house has a very grand entrance from the archway from the street but beyond is an incredibly pleasant courtyard and there is a new café.

If there were clear new trends from 3daysofdesign this year it was the use of named and well-known independent stylists - rather than in-house designers - and a growing number of design stores that have a café. This is furniture buying as a destination trip. And no ... that's not snide sarcasm … I only get round these events with in-flight refuelling of caffeine.

It is not all room settings here, for there are good displays of lighting and a couple of exhibition areas with a good small show about the background to the Little Petra Chair that was designed by Viggo Boesen in 1938 - after a trip to New York - and this chair is the latest addition to the &Tradition collection.

&Tradition, Kronprinsessegade 4, Copenhagen



Frama for 3daysofdesign



FRAMA studio and store in St. Pauls Apotek in Fredericiagade was open on the first evening of 3daysofdesign with people moving out onto the pavement to enjoy the warm weather.

This was an opportunity to show new additions to the collection - so a selection of cutlery in the ICHI range from Ole Palsby, now sold in the store, and a new tie in with home goods from the Japanese brand Ouur.




shop window Mads Norgaard for 3daysofdesign



Many of the stores around the city get involved with 3daysofdesign.

On Strøget - the great pedestrianised shopping street that runs east west through the centre of the city - the Copenhagen fashion brand Mads Norgaard, used their front shop window for "live workshops" with a tightly-packed programme of demonstrations by craftsmen making products from many of the best-known design companies and design workshops.

Here, in one of the sessions in the programme on the first day, a cabinet maker from PP Møbler was working on shaping and finishing the seat of their new three-legged Sela Stool designed by the Brazilian artist Ricardo Graham Ferreira. The stools are made in oak, ash, cherry or beech and the wave profile of the shape means that the craftsmen can bring out the character of the pattern of the grain in each block of timber.

PP Møbler

Dux at the Swedish Embassy for 3daysofdesign


For 3daysofdesign, first-floor rooms of the Swedish Embassy - in a grand town house on Sankt Annæ Plads - were taken over by the Swedish furniture manufacturer DUX who are perhaps best known for beds but they also for manufacture classic furniture by designers including Bruno Mathsson and Folke Olsson.

The space was styled by the well-established Swedish designer and blogger Lotta Agaton.


Lotta Agaton


Pernilla 69 at the Swedish Embassy



One of the main rooms at the embassy was set out as a bedroom - a rather luxurious bedroom - with furniture from Dux with their version of the Pernille chair and foot stool that is based on a chair designed in 1944 by Bruno Mathsson but then developed with DUX as a new version in 1969 and still made by the company.

Recently, the posts on the review side of this blog have focused on Danish chair design and looked particularly at the development of plywood or laminated wood and the related techniques of laminating and steam bending so coming across this chair was a good opportunity to look carefully at the Mathsson design and to take photographs.

Here the curving of the laminated wood takes on an almost baroque exaggeration that  revels in the technique and the craftsmanship. Specifically, this chair puts paid to any suggestion that steam bending is for cheap everyday furniture or mass production and this version also shows how high-quality upholstery and the very very careful choice of fabric and colour creates the distinct style and takes the finished chair to a much higher level of luxury.



Form at the Swedish Embassy for 3daysofdesign


Form - the gallery and centre for design in Malmö - is run by Svensk Form Syd and is part of the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.

Here at the Swedish Embassy, for 3daysofdesign, they showed the work of nine young designers who are based in Skåne … the southern region of Sweden that is just over the sound or just over the bridge from Copenhagen.

The exhibition was curated by Kajsa Willner and had been shown previously at Dutch Design Week in October last year.



Works exhibited included a lamp and a table by Andréason & Leibel; work by Jenny Nordberg; jewellery by Sara Robertsson; vases by Hanna Hansdotter; a table by Ola Gertz; table and cabinet by the design group Stoft; pen pots by Kunsik Choi; jacket by Naemi Gustavsson and cast aluminium table by Glen Baghurst.

There was a small and separate exhibition of ten works by designers from the Malmö region following a competition to design more appropriate and sustainably-produced souvenirs. The ideas illustrated well that one role of the designer is to step back and reassess how we use a material or how we do something with certain tools. We get easily into a rut where what we do and how we do it seems to be the only or the obvious way and one role of the designer is to see if there is another and very different way because it is too easy for manufacturers to get trapped in a series of modifications or upgrades - particularly if they have a successful product - rather than realising that time or life or demands or our priorities have changed.


The candlestick was inspired by the form of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark; there was a high-visibility back bag and a stylish bike bell; a knife for harvesting mushroom and a bottle opener inspired by the design of timber framing in the area and there was a candy slug. I'm not sure why we need a chocolate slug unless this is aversion therapy so you need to really really want chocolate if it looks like a slug.

What I do like more and more is the Swedish use of the word Formgivare. It’s useful and evocative and covers design and making in the sense that the person gives the idea form … so they take an idea and make that into something tangible.

I can see why many young designers started to drop any prefix before the word designer - so interior designer, furniture designer, graphic designer - because it could seem a bit restricting for talent when, in the current economic situation, it probably seems wise to keep options open and turn a hand to anything but, as a consequence, the world of the designer is becoming a rather crowded place as even architects abandon their core work to produce ranges of furniture or accessories or perfume. I made up the last one ..... or at least I hope I made up the last one.

I'm hoping more makers and more formgivers come out from that catch-all profession of designer ... surely it's not a bad thing to show where your experience and talent and enthusiasms are focused.

FORM design center Malmö


Swiss Design Zurich Made … Designmuseum Danmark for 3daysofdesign



This was an event to show the work of the Department of Design from Zurich University of the Arts with an exhibition in the Festhallen of the museum - the big assembly room over the entrance of the museum - and there was a packed series of talks and discussions through the Friday and Saturday.

It was very much about new and emerging talent - the next generation of designers - and covered well-established disciplines such as typography but had a strong focus on design for the computer - virtual models, virtual reality, computer games and apps using GPS to explore a city and its culture - along with political or social aspects of design - so work on how gender is expressed either consciously or unconsciously in the design of products.

Established Swiss design was represented here by the Ulm Stool by Max Bill from 1954; the Stella Chair and the messenger bag from Freitag that reuse truck tarpaulin. With the bags, Freitag had worked with students to explore new concepts and new forms for the bag and for the event, down in the courtyard, there was a stall where you could design your own bag by moving a Perspex template over a tarpaulin to form the design you liked best.

Action! Teaching and Learning for Sustainability has online sites for their symposiums in 2016, 2017 and 2018. These show how design as a training and as a profession has now spread out to involve a much much broader social, environmental and political area.

Forty or fifty years ago to call a store a design shop somehow implied that it was special and, by implication, ordinary furniture was somehow not designed and to have 'designer' anything - from jeans to a vase by a named designer - somehow implied, in terms of marketing at least, that this was special - to justify the price tag - but again, insidiously, as if it marked the buyer out for their taste and discernment. Equally typography was the work of a graphic artist or typographer rather than someone calling themselves generally a designer and people declared themselves to be interior designers before they realised that dropping the word interior gave them more freedom to work over a broader range of products.

Now the word design seems to be too broad. I'm not suggesting that it has been claimed by too many for too many products … just that it has become too vague. Everything, even badly thought out and badly made furniture or household accessories are actually designed … bad products are not organic or spontaneous and don't appear as if by magic in a container at a port. But the Swiss exhibition here shows that really good design, for all aspects of life, can be enhancing and invigorating and crucial to everyone's by making appropriate and sustainable design for the coming decades.

Swiss design Zurich made



Design X Change - Designmuseum Danmark



For 3daysofdesign, Designmuseum Denmark hosted the annual Design X Change in the courtyard. The over-riding theme of the event is sustainability and reuse for design products with many companies and designers represented. There were good food stalls … including a major stall by the team from Klint … the museum's own restaurant. Many of the displays were hands-on including being able to pan for gold and several stalls seemed well set to orchestrate discussions.

designmuseum danmark

Design Werck for 3daysofdesign



Design Werck, on the canal at Krudtløbsvej, showed the work of the forty or so companies that now use the gallery as their base in Copenhagen and with many of the designers and makers there to talk about their work.

There were special demonstrations … for instance an afternoon of smocking … but above all it was an opportunity to meet and chat … the design community here were entertaining friends and family and all and any visitor that dropped by and wanted to discover or understand more about what was designed or made.

Food here was Danish and served out from breakfast and onwards but given a good west-coast sense with Henry Seymour serving out amazing oysters for a Danish brunch and there was gin and tonic each evening.

The main display, specifically for 3daysofdesign, was organised in conjunction with Business Finland to show the furniture and products of designers and companies from Finland.

The north end of the gallery was cleared and then restyled as a Finnish cottage with the furniture, lighting, textiles and wallpaper and so on shown in a more-obviously domestic context.


Design Werck


Companies from Finland showing here include: BEdesign; be&liv; bonden; Eco Furn; Fasetti; FINARTE; GEDIGO; GOODIO; HUKKA DESIGN;KRISTIINA LASSUS; Magisso; moimoi; NIKARI; NORD-T; PISA DESIGN SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES; SECTO DESIGN; Teemu Järvi Illustrations; GRÖnlund; VALLILA and woodio


Nomad Workspace for 3daysofdesign




This amazing building on Blegdamsvej was the front range of a prison that was designed by the Danish architect Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll and built in the middle of the 19th century. It faces across to Sankt Johannes Kirke and the square of Sankt Hans Torv.

A recent and extensive restoration of the building now provides space for small offices, studios, workspaces and meeting rooms that are rented by designers, studios and design companies. Apparently, office facilities such as printing and, most important, coffee are included and there is a very trendy café so this seems to be a good first home for young companies. It is certainly a dramatic space with an impressive staircase immediately beyond the entrance and a whole sequence of meeting rooms through the basement.

Furniture shown here included chairs by Isabel Ahm; the marbled painted tables by Pernille Snedker Hansen from Snedker Studio and the Cocoon Icon chair by Kevin Hviid and Martin Kechayas.

Muuto chose the building for their major show for 3daysofdesign and working with the interior designer Natalia Sanchéz of Spatial Code they furnished the main rooms across the front of the building.

Muuto also produced 'site specific' installations by artists using Muuto products so, for instance, wall decorations that used the Muuto wooden dots.

On a very hot day there was an ice-cream vendor at the steps and I had to smile as the young and trendy and the not so young but trendy of Copenhagen seemed to be much more focused on the amazing food and huge range of beers laid on rather than being there for the design.

This is a good area for such a venture … in the streets north beyond the square and in the streets behind Nomad, running back towards the lakes, there are new independent galleries, small design studios and a good mix of cafes with a good number of antique and second-hand shops and, of course, the brewery … Nørrebro Bryghus on Ryesgade.

What more could a 30 year old want on a Saturday?

Nomad Workspace


Frederiksgade 1 for 3daysofdesign


From Store Kongensgade looking towards the Marble Church with the extensive engineering works for the new metro line that will open next year ..... the entrance to the metro station here will be literally on the doorstep of Frederiksgade 1



I've only been in Copenhagen for four years but I have worked out that the place that sums up all that is best about 3daysofdesign is to be at Frederiksgade 1 on the first evening of the event.

The building is a large and ornate apartment building dating from around 1900 that forms part of the framing of the approach to the Marble Church from Store Kongensgade. The key occupant and linchpin is Getama - a company that itself dates back to 1899 when they first made mattresses or, to be more specific, they "specialised in seaweed mattresses." They now manufacture many of the best known designs from the classic period but also have a less-obvious commercial side … less obvious that is to the general shopper who may not automatically call the name to mind but, if they are Danish, will, almost-certainly, have sat on a Getama product as Getama are a major producer of high quality theatre and conference seating.

Getama have the third floor of the Frederiksgade building with a warren of rooms around a central light well.

Climbing up the staircase, the former apartments are now offices and showrooms and studios for a whole community of designers and design companies and here the key word is community.

This is the place where you really feel that at the core of Danish design is not this weird current idea of a Danish design DNA but rather more straightforward ideas like huge commitment, real talent, drive and determination but, overall, a real and obvious passion and enthusiasm for design. 3daysofdesign is when they open the doors to friends and families and colleagues working all over the city. Here for three days it stops being about spread sheets and what comes across absolutely is that great design is life enhancing and to be shared.


Designers and companies based at Frederiksgade 1 include:

&SHUFL; Black Architecture; Brunner Studio; a opo up for danishdesign MAKERS; Fabula Living; File Under Pop; GETAMA; Helle Flou; House of Finn Juhl; Kjær Architecture; KNOTHOUSE; Mia Lagerman; Moore Copenhagen Studio; Overgaard & Dyrman; PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED; Studio Theresa Rand and Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt




It was really difficult to take photos that evening simply because there were so many people.


House of Finn Juhl at Frederiksgade 1


3daysofdesign is when design companies and manufacturers and studios in Copenhagen open their doors to show everyone their designs and products and take that opportunity to explain the why and the how and the what of the design world in the city.

House of Finn Juhl have showrooms in Frederiksgade and they showed some of their best furniture so this was the opportunity to not only look at furniture up close but to sit on chairs or ask questions.

In one of the rooms, as the centre piece, was a Silver Table, designed by Juhl in 1948 with 30 inset discs that give the design its nickname of the Judas Table.

It was set for a grand meal but between the plates and glasses were parts of some of the classic Juhl chairs so for instance an arm of a Chair 45 or chair FJ45.

This was the first time I had seen the sections of a chair by Juhl before they had been assembled and so, of course, took photographs.

With so many things - like magic tricks or great culinary dishes - to have the trick explained often spoils the illusion. Curiously, here it was exactly the opposite.

Discussions about designs by Juhl inevitably point out a contrast between Finn Juhl and his contemporary Hans Wegner in that designs by Wegner seem to have evolved as designer and cabinetmaker resolved how to realise a design by working through what could be done and how whereas Juhl appears to have had a very clear idea of what he required and it was up to the craftsman to work out just how to make that happen.

Seeing the parts of a Juhl chair laid out did not spoil the trick … rather it was the opposite because, looking at the smooth, complex and almost organic shapes and the precision and cutting of the joins for fixing together the parts, the workmanship seemed even more amazing and it was possible to understand exactly why modern machinery for cutting and shaping wood makes the production of these chairs possible.

What I still don't understand is how a craftsman can see in a piece of timber the line of the finished piece where the grain, that reflects natural growth of an individual tree, is used to enhance the finished piece rather than being a perverse and difficult part of the natural material that can and will form a line of weakness.

House of Finn Juhl


Jasper Overgaard and Christian Dyrman at Frederiksgade 1


Jasper Overgaard and Christian Dyrman have a studio and showroom space on the fourth floor at Frederiksgade 1.

For 3daysofdesign they had a long table with a dark top down the centre of the main room with all the parts from one of their chairs set out … so there were separate slots in the top that took each of the different wires and parts of the steel frame and cut outs for all the pieces of leather for the seat and back and all the straps and rivets that go to make up a finished chair.



Most people, if they think about the design process, will assume that to design furniture then all that is needed is a nice sketch, maybe with colour wash or probably an impressive CAD drawing in 3D with rendering and then maybe a swatch or two of colours or materials … and that's it.

In reality, of course, that at most describes the initial concept phase and usually a huge amount of thought and research and experience and training will have been needed to come up with that concept.

Here, with the chair from Overgaard & Dyrman you see how many parts there are and that the form, and precise details of each part has to be meticulously determined and then you see, with the tools on show, just how much skill is required to make those parts and then assemble a chair.



Overgaard & Dyrman illustrate so well that core strength of Danish design where design and manufacture are in partnership - both disciplines contributing to the creation of the finished work.

Here, of course, the designers are the makers and the makers are the designers so it proves that other maxim that actually the best designs so often come from a complete understanding of the materials and techniques being used and that understanding can never be as thorough or as complete as when it is worked out at the work bench.


Normann for 3daysofdesign



Design stores throughout the city put on special events for 3daysofdesign but Normann can always be relied on to have dramatic displays in their store in Østerbro.

For this year, the sharp pinks of last year have gone and for now the huge space of the main part of the store has been subdivided by massive grey curtains that drop the full height and form spaces for room-like displays but with mirrors and large bold stacks of blocks to display chairs and the effect is certainly theatrical.




The company took this opportunity - the events of 3daysofdesign - to launch their new Tivoli Collection. The most obvious pieces are a new take on traditional Danish wooden toys in bold colours but, more significant, is a new co-ordinated range of home accessories all taking as a starting point the inspiration of the pleasure gardens of Tivoli in Copenhagen. The launch was during 3daysofdesign but the full range will be available from the Autumn so ready for the build up to Christmas.

This is certainly an interesting development. Most furniture and design companies produce ranges of objects from novelty tableware to candleholders to purely decorative ornaments that supplement the main range of furniture and the more practical but often unexciting ranges of basic and practical household items like plates or bowls or flatware and if you know your design world you can spot what are obviously company colours or typical shapes or even predictable materials but here, with the Tivoli Collection, there is a very deliberate rethink of over 300 pieces to create coherence … so much so that Normann themselves are talking about the Tivoli Brand.

From the start, Normann were noted for the colours they used, usually on bold deliberately simple and uncluttered shapes for their furniture, and they were one of the first companies to mark a clear rejection of the more conservative Danish colour palette of the late 20th century and the first decade of this century … so they replaced pale natural colours with strong and deep colours for fabrics.

Maybe, with the Tivoli Collection - with the use of much more decoration and the use of gold and so on - Normann are again heading a different move away from the stripped back and uncluttered rooms normally associated with Scandinavian homes to something that many will feel reflects more complicated and more individual lives. To me it seems a bit like a return to the days of Biba in London and the very first collections of Habitat … not the simple designs from Scandinavia and Germany that Conran introduced to British homes but the Moroccan rugs, the rope plant holders, candles and brass watering cans that filled his stores and pulled people in. Essentially, looking at that change as a social historian, it was all about a break away from post-war austerity … about individuality and about young adults wanting to buy things that were interesting and hinted at excitement and travel and a broader more open viewpoint …so  perhaps the more ornate accessories from Normann mark that point where cool and rational Scandinavian design seemed too much or, rather, too little for getting away from austerity economics.


Normann ... launch of the Tivoli Collection


3 days of design 2018


3daysofdesign - the big annual design event in Copenhagen - begins on 24th May

The programme is now available on the event site ... with so many companies and studios and manufacturers opening their doors and with exhibitions in so many different venues - including embassies - then it is well worth planning your route ahead and using the transport set up for the three days

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."


Nikari at Design Werck

the December Chair by Jasper Morrison and Wataru Kumano with leather seat and back and the April tables by Alfredo Häberli from the 12 Designs for Nature Collection


detail of the top and edge of a table


Nikari Oy was founded in 1967 by the cabinet maker Kari Vitanen and is now established in Fiskars - the historic settlement, 75 kilometres west of Helsinki, that has grown up around an ironworks dating from the middle of the 17th century.

Nikari have a well-established reputation for the quality of their furniture and for their policy of using sustainable timber.

Their catalogue has a good, wide-ranging collection including chairs, stools, tables, side tables and cabinets, a sofa and garden furniture. All the pieces rely on the natural beauty of the high-quality wood used and the skill of the workmanship … as so often, here simplicity does not mean basic or even furniture that is spartan or minimalist … just uncluttered lines … so square sections to legs and straight plain edges to table tops rather than any mouldings or shaping.

Nikari have worked with an impressive list of designers ... with major Finnish designers including Antrei Hartikainen, Hari Koskinen, Johan Olin and Mikko Paakkanen; Scandinavian designers including Louise Campbell from Denmark and Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ole Rune from Sweden as well as making pieces by the British designer Jasper Morrison and there have been recent collaborations with designers from Japan including Wataru Kumano, Motomi Morii, Tomoshi Nagano and Nao Tamura.

One particularly interesting collection in their current catalogue is their Designs for Nature series with each of the 12 pieces identified by a month from a collection of a stool, a bench and a low table designed by Harri Koskinen marking January through to a low chair with a slung seat and back in leather designed by Jasper Morrison and Wataru Kumano for December.

Several of these pieces that celebrate the months were shown at Design Werck.

See the separate post for October - the side chair from the collection designed by Samuli Naamanka

Nikari Oy, 10470 Fiskars, Finland





Detail of the December Chair in canvas (above and left) designed by Jasper Morrison and Wataru Kumano and the July table in elm and oak designed by Nao Tamura


samples of types of wood used by Nikari made like building blocks for a child and presented in a box with the clever trick of a hole in the centre of the tray so you can push them out ....  attention to every detail of presentation 


Finnish design day at Design Werck

Ulla Koskinen, Johanna Vurio and Mads Arlien-Søborg lead the discussion

On the 2nd June there was a major event where the companies and designers from Finland who have been showing in the gallery were at Design Werck to talk about their designs and about the work produced by their companies.

There was a good general discussion about Nordic design that was led by Mads Arlien-Søborg - the design expert from DR TV in Copenhagen - with Johanna Vurio, CEO of the furniture company Nikari Oy, and Ulla Koskinen, editor for the design magazine ASUN - I Live.

People introduced themselves and talked briefly about the work produced by their companies and the strong common theme that emerged was that each had a distinct and unique and interesting story to tell about how their companies had been established but, and much more important, what came across in simply through talking about this, was their passion and commitment to good design.

This should not be surprising but it was obvious, as so often, that it is this background story that is not just a 'unique selling point' but is the best way to help potential customers understand the product … the way for the designer or manufacture to get across, in an interesting way, why the design is important and can be half the battle to justify the price - important in a competitive market - and is also the best starting point to explain the merits of the work … to explain how a piece works or explain why one material rather than another was chosen or why something was made in a specific way.

Of course a customer can be overloaded with information but equally many of the important factors about a product might not be immediately obvious when it is seen in a crowded shop display. It is important to get the balance right and important to include at least some of this back story on packaging.

The discussion moved on to the idea of marketing Scandinavian design generally as a way of pooling resources but also as a way of strengthening the image of the region for it's design.

The well-attended discussion session was followed by food from Finland and that was a fantastic opportunity to chat with the designers from Finland and with the teams from the different companies.

Design Werck, Krudløbsvej 12, Copenhagen