Sustainable Chairs at Designmuseum Danmark

At the end of last year, the Nordic Council of Ministers held an open competition for the design of sustainable chairs with one winner chosen from each of the Nordic countries.

Judges considered the sourcing of materials; the energy required in production and distribution; consideration of disposal at the end of the life of the chair and general compliance with the United Nations 17 goals for sustainability.

At the beginning of December, winning designs were shown in the Nordic Pavilion at COP 24 - the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice in Poland.

The overall winner was the Danish entry - The Coastal Chair by Nikolaj Thrane Carlsen.

This competition was organised in partnership with the Nordic national design associations - Danish Design Center, Svensk Form, DOGA in Norway, Ornamo in Finland and The Icelandic Design Centre.

the chairs will be shown in the entrance area of
the design museum in Copenhagen
until 26 May 2019

Designmuseum Danmark


 

Petite
David Ericsson
Sweden

beech
components reduced to use less materials and light - just 2.5 kilo

 

 

Tangform
Nikolaj Thrane Carlsen
Denmark

shell eelgrass and carrageenan extracted from red algae
frame recycled from bamboo floorboards

 

 
 

Håg Capisco
Peter Opsvik
Norway

recycled plastic from household waste
no glue or harmful chemicals
durable, easy to disassemble and repairable
manufactured by HÅG/Flokk


 

Kollhrif
Sölvi Kristjánsson
Iceland

cork and aluminium recycled from 14,400 tea lights
manufactured by Málmsteypan Hella and Portland

 

 
 

Clash 331
Samuli Naamanka
Finland

aspen and birch
thicker at the part of the seat where the legs are glued so subframe not necessary
durable
manufactured by naamanka

The Danish Design Center has posted photographs and information about the ten designs in the finals in each country:
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

DESIGN X CHANGE at Designmuseum Danmark

Over the two days of the weekend for Design X Change 2019 at Designmuseum Danmark, there were lectures and demonstrations and a number of companies exhibited their products including the bicycle design company BIOMEGA with a display in the entrance court and, in Grønnegården - the great central courtyard of the museum - were, among many others, the new furniture company TAKT showing the first three chairs they have produced that were launched just a month ago; MATER; THE ORGANIC COMPANY; Signe Wenneberg with BIOTANISK KIOSK; sustainable bins from DROPBUCKET; planters from SQUARELY; jewellers from KEA - the Copenhagen Business Academy and COPENHAGEN SEEDS

 

 

DESIGN X CHANGE at Designmuseum Danmark
Saturday and Sunday 4 and 5 May 2019

DESIGN X CHANGE at Designmuseum Danmark

DESIGN X CHANGE, at Designmuseum Danmark today, is a major and popular annual event that is part of the Danish Design Festival.

There were demonstrations and displays in Grønnegården - the great courtyard at the centre of the museum - and lectures in the upper hall and all around the theme of sustainability in design.

DESIGN X CHANGE continue at Designmuseum Danmark tomorrow - Sunday 5 May 10.00-17.00

for information about companies and organisations taking part and for details about lectures see DESIGN X CHANGE

 

the bauhaus #allesistdesign

the bauhaus #allesistdesign
Vitra Design Museum
Bundeskunsthalle
2015

 

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

 

books on the Bauhaus at Designmuseum Danmark

This year, the major exhibition at Designmuseum Danmark is about the history and work of the Bauhaus - the German design school that opened in 1919.

The exhibition opens on the 14th March and will continue through to December but as a foretaste there is a small exhibition in the area to the left of the museum entrance with a display of books and journals from the Bauhaus and some of the many publications about the school that are in the library of the design museum.

Bauhaus #itsalldesign

the first afternoon of the Christmas market at Designmuseum Danmark

 


The Christmas market for design and crafts in the courtyard of Designmseum Danmark is organised as a collaboration between the museum and Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - the Danish Association of Crafts and Designers. It is held on the first two weekends in December so on the 30th November and the 1st and 2nd December and on the 7th, 8th and 9th December 2018

Opening hours:
Friday: 12-17 
Saturday / Sunday: 10-17

The web site of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere has a full list of the exhibitors.

Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere

Christmas market at Designmuseum Danmark

Recently received in a newsletter from Designmuseum Danmark … the dates for their Christmas market in the inner courtyard over two weekends.

Well worth putting in the diary or if you are thinking of visiting the city then a good time to be here.

Designmuseum Danmark

 

  • Friday 30 November 2018 – 12:00 to 17:00

  • Saturday 1 December 2018 – 10.00 to 17:00

  • Sunday 2 December 2018 – 10.00 to 17:00 

  • Friday 7 December 2018 – 12:00 to 17:00

  • Saturday 8 December 2018 – 10.00 to 17:00

  • Sunday 9 December 2018 – 10.00 to 17:00

 

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
 
 

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

 

Flexibility

A small exhibition - described as a pop-up exhibition - has just opened at Designmuseum Danmark.

With the subtitle The Missing Link in Danish Typography History, it spotlights the new font called Flexibility that was introduced last year as part of an updating of the typography and graphics used for the museum and is to be used across all aspects of their graphic design from posters to signage and display graphics, as the font for the museum's website and for in-house leaflets for publicity. This work was undertaken by the Copenhagen studio Urgent. Agency.

As part of the commission they searched through the archives of the museum and found initial sketches for this font that dated from the beginning of the 1960s and were by Naur Klint - the architect and designer who was the son of Kaare Klint. The designs were digitized and this was the starting point to produce a font appropriate for the museum.

With the exhibition there is a handout newspaper that sets out a good brief history of the design museum and also sets out the iterations of the typeface with various weights and an italic and an outline version.

The exhibition continues from 5 October through to 6 January 2019

Designmuseum Danmark
Urgent.Agency

restoration II - the forecourt of the design museum

 

Work continues at Designmuseum Danmark where the entrance gates, railings and stone piers along the street are being rebuilt and the setts of the forecourt relaid to form a new ramp to replace the steps up to the front entrance door and to install lighting and so on for new outdoor exhibition cases. 

The project - designed by the architectural practice COBE - includes a new ticket area, book shop and new cafe in the lower part of the old pharmacy … that’s the pavilion to the right of the forecourt.

 

As new blocks of stone have been brought to the site and set up, the work is an opportunity to see some of the details of 18th-century stone masons’ techniques that have been replicated … so it is possible to see the way bold mouldings are cut across large blocks to form plinths and caps to the piers.

The large ashlar blocks of the stone piers and the blocks that form the moulded bases and caps are dressed back with strong vertical tooling which contributes a distinct surface texture and gives a darker tone to the architectural details. Note how at each end of the ironwork screen the outer piers are not butted against the brickwork of the pavilions but are set into them which would suggest that the brickwork and stonework were built up at the same time … not one built against the other.

top left - the door into the former pharmacy of the hospital which will be the access to a new arrival space with ticket desk, book shop and new cafe. Note the silhouette in the brickwork of the ball finial and moulded cap of the stone pier that has been dismantled.

top centre - an iron pintel, set into the stonework of the pier, that will hold the strap of the lower hinge of the gate

 

Heavy spiked or barbed railings and the ornate iron gates are held in sockets cut into the blocks.

At this stage the gates are back on site but are on pallets so it is possible to see the robust quality of the iron work and to see how the straps of the gate hinges form a loop that will be dropped over hefty iron ‘pintels’ set into the stonework. 

This major project has also been an opportunity to repair some of the stonework on the entrance front of the main building and it is interesting to see around the doorway that although the stone frame or architrave of the door looks hefty or robust, it is, in fact, made up with relatively thin slips of stone with pieces forming the moulded front and separate pieces forming the reveal or jamb running back to the door frame and the brickwork behind is surprisingly crude.

 
 

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

Freitag

 

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

Creme de la creme

 

A phenomenal exhibition at Designmuseum Danmark with masterpieces from the museum collection that have rarely or never been shown and emphasises just what an amazing range of arts and crafts and works of the highest quality can be covered by that word design.

There are ornate cabinets; tapestries by Matisse and Léger and posters by Toulouse-Lautrec; ceramics from China; porcelain by Meissen and stunning jewellery and silverware. The breadth of the skills shown by the makers of these objects, working with such a wide range of materials, is breath taking and the quality of the pieces raises fascinating questions about collectors in Denmark and the works hint at just how some of the houses and palaces in the city were furnished.

This is a break from exhibitions that explore a theme or examine the work of a designer and a return to the idea of a museum as a Kunstkammer or cabinet of curiosities. Here, absolutely stunning curiosities.

 

Creme de la creme continues at Designmuseum Danmark, Bredgade 68, Copenhagen until 27 January 2019

upcoming work on the forecourt and entrance to Designmuseum Danmark

Work will start in May on some major changes at the design museum with plans for the alterations by COBE … the Copenhagen architecture and planning studio. 

The museum is in an important 18th-century building that was a hospital. A cobbled forecourt with iron gates and imposing stone gate piers along the street is flanked by detached pavilions that were part of the original construction - the pavilion to the right being the hospital pharmacy - but these are not currently used by the design museum for the public.

The main building faces you as you enter the courtyard and the entrance is in the centre of the front, emphasised by a pediment. Through the door there is an outer hall flanked by staircases and with access to cloakrooms on either side and then there is an inner hall, directly opposite the entrance, with the ticket desk and information, in a relatively small square space overlooking a large internal green courtyard beyond. The museum shop is at the left-hand angle of the building currently in three rooms but also with storage space. 

The ticket desk and the museum shop will be moved into the forecourt level of that right-hand pavilion so visitors will have to do a hard turn to the right as they come in through the gateway from the street into the forecourt … not difficult but then not obvious … and then, after passing through the shop and a new cafe, they will have to leave the pavilion and cut back to the centre of the main front, crossing the back of the forecourt, to enter the museum by the present door. 

One obvious advantage will be that people will be able to visit the shop without having to buy a ticket and it will free up important space in the building for exhibitions and the display of more objects from the permanent collection.

This being Copenhagen, better provision has to be made for bikes for the number of visitors who arrive on two wheels so there will be a new set of bike racks between the pharmacy pavilion and the main front of the building, tucked away behind the new cafe ... most visitors seem to leave their bikes in the forecourt. 

photograph and drawing from COBE

 

Certainly, the forecourt comes alive during major events at the museum - like the night of culture in October when there were braziers and displays out here - so, in effect, to move the museum out to welcome the visitor in, COBE have proposed that there will be several purpose-built display cabinets outside and the cobbles of the forecourt will be relaid - presumably to smooth out the fairly uneven surface there now - and there will be tables and chairs here for the new cafe. 

The stone steps up to the main entrance will be removed and replaced with a long ramp for access … to replace a ‘temporary’  metal ramp there now that sits over the stone steps.

I admire the work by COBE enormously but here do have some reservations. The building has a symmetry that is a strong part of its character and a certain severity, because it was a hospital, that again is important as a deliberate and original contrast with the exuberance and decoration of many of the 18th-century palaces and grand houses in the adjoining streets.

Kaare Klint, when he oversaw the conversion of the building, to make the hospital into a museum, carefully and deliberately respected that symmetry. It was almost an obsession … the pair of staircases in the front range and the pair of staircases on the opposite side of the building might be taken to be original but were designed by Klint. Also Klint was meticulous about his choice of colours and finish … everything in the building is of a high quality and everything is properly made but it is always restrained and always stays on the right side so can never be described as mechanical … Klint pursued quality and craftsmanship but not perfection for its own sake and that gives even the plasterwork - or the cobbles - a warmth and a texture that is nowhere mechanical or cold.

That is why, perhaps, the the cobbles or setts of the forecourt should not be too regular and do the placement of large outside display cases and new trees in the forecourt possibly distract from the design of the front?

the existing stone steps up to the entrance of the design museum and the even grander stone steps at Amalienborg to show how these worked in terms of architectural rules and conventions in the 18th century and the bull-nosed moulding and the decorative tooling on the stonework are essential and typical features of 18th-century work

 

on the opposite side of the museum, Klint created an entrance for deliveries into the main courtyard and this was treated like carriage arches in the city with steps omitted and the cobbles running right up to the door

 

Sunday of the recent Easter weekend. It shows just how busy the museum is and actually this is not a sign of an over-slow ticket system ... the museum was overwhelmed and for a short time had to slow down access to let new visitors in only as people left. While I was there no one in the queue complained and no one coming into the forecourt turned away on seeing the queue so that's quite some endorsement of the reputation, success and popularity of the museum 

Obviously the ramp up to the door is understandable but again there is a subtle point to be made about the original architecture. The carefully-designed and well-made stone steps up to the doorway have two functions … first to give that sense of entering - so a deliberate and important transition from outside to inside - but also the dark line of the stone has a visual role … perhaps rather subtle but it is a use of correct architectural grammar absolutely appropriate to this classical building … the horizontal line of the darker stone of the steps is almost like a punctuation mark or an underlining of the door. Take that away and it weakens the composition of the facade.

Look around the streets here and you can see how carefully architects and masons designed and made entrance steps. This does does not and cannot trump the right that visitors have for direct and easy access to the museum so one solution would be to pull the stonework of the steps forward, to create a level apron or landing in front of the door - there are good classical precedents for such a design - and then take the ramps in cobbles or stone down each side. That might even work better with the new approach line from the left-hand door of the pharmacy building where people will move from the ticket desk area to the museum itself.

I am Black Velvet

 

This is the last week to see the exhibition of the work of Erik Mortensen at Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen. I am Black velvet shows the haute couture designs for Pierre Balmain and Jean Louis Scherrer from 1982 through to 1995. 

I am Black Velvet, Designmuseum Danmark

the exhibition continues until 18th March 2018