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

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
 
 

Signe Bailey at Frue Plads Marked

 

This was another brilliant example of ingenuity on show at the market at Frue Plads.

Signe Bailey is a designer who works with ceramics and at the Frue Plads market she showed her tableware, ceramic jewellery and distinctive and very unusual designs including the Platters … a number of spines or spindles in fired clay held in holes in a flexible collar so the angles and spaces adapt to fruit placed on or within the spines.

But I was most taken by the Vue lamp because it illustrates all that is best about good design. 

There are lots of pendant lamps on the market …. most in glass or in metal or plastic and some even in wood or basketwork. The Vue lamp is in thin, self-coloured stoneware and the lamp demonstrates all the best qualities of the material including the fact that it is matt making it seem less intrusive and warmer and much more friendly. It might seem counterintuitive but a hard material like fired clay can look soft.

Obviously it is not transparent - like glass - but here that is seen as an advantage for the primary function of this lamp is as a downlighter when it is set over a table or work surface or it can be hung lower over a side table or close to a chair as a reading lamp.

The shape is deceptively simple and beautifully elegant … in terms of geometry a cone but with gently-curved convex sides; with an open base but cut off at an angle across the top.

But the really clever part is a simple slot that is cut running out from the centre of the top to the highest point of the truncated cone and then half way down the side and this takes the flex for the bulb holder inside the lamp. A retaining ring inside keeps the lamp in position at whichever point it passes through the slot. This means that the lamp can be adjusted - spun along line of the slot - to any position from pointing straight outwards horizontally and through any angle to pointing vertically straight down.

Signe Bailey has her own company - Clayform - but she was also a founding member of Den Danske Keramikfabrik - the ceramic factory on Bornholm - established recently by a co-operative of ceramicists to make available flexible production - in terms of the range of technical production methods and the ability to produce larger quantities - that are not always available to an independent ceramicist working in a small studio.

The lamp is produced in a soft grey or off white but the close link between the designer and the ceramic factory means that lamps in other colours can be commissioned.

The design could hardly be more minimal or hardly more sophisticated and that is an important point that has to be made. The very best of minimalist design is not simple. A designer cannot go straight to simple without going through an incredible and often lengthy process of trial and adaptation and adjustment to take an idea and realise it in terms of what might actually be a complicated or variable function with a form and style that is appropriate to the material and its qualities and then reduce that design to what is essential or rather to take it back to the essence of the idea. A minimalist design of this quality is not simple or quick or easy.

On a very busy afternoon at the market Signe very kindly demonstrated how the Vue lamp can be set at different angles and let me film her. Many thanks for your patience. The Clayform Facebook page has a good video that shows the Vue lamp being made in the factory. 

Clayform
Den Danske Keramikfabrik

 

Kunsthåndværkermarkedet / The Craft Market on Frue Plads in Copenhagen

 

 

For the next three days, the annual craft market will be on Frue Plads - the square next to the cathedral in Copenhagen.

Organised by Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere / The Danish Association of Craft Workers and Designers, this is an opportunity to see and to buy some of the very best ceramics, glass and textiles made in Denmark.

a gallery of images of ceramics from the craft market

Thursday 9 August 12 - 19
Friday 10 August 10 - 19
Saturday 11 August 10 - 16

for further information about the craft market 

 

Flammespor / Scorched traces - ceramics by Charlotte Nielsen

 

 

Ceramic works by Charlotte Nielsen that are fired using raku techniques that traditionally means rapid firing at a high temperature and rapid cooling so the fired clay takes on the colours and the sharp look of weathered and rusted iron. These incredible pieces are inspired by ironwork with ribs and spirals that make the pieces look like worn machine parts. 

 

Officinet
Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Deignere
Bredgade 66
14 July until 18 August 2018

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.

FRAMA

 

 
 

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

 

Rotation

 

Rotation - the work of the ceramicist Jane Holmberg Andersen in the current exhibition at the gallery of Danske Kunsthåndværke & Designere Bredgade 66, Copenhagen until 8th October

ARKET

 

 

Part of Sunday afternoon was spent looking at the new ARKET store in the old post office building in Købmagergade in Copenhagen so it really was a bit of a fashion day with the time looking at the photographs from Danske magazine on Højbro Plads.

ARKET -  a new brand from the Swedish company H&M - opened at the beginning of September so just a week after their first store opened in Regent Street in London and ahead of Brussels and Munich.

One style magazine suggested the brand sits between & Other Stories and COS but I'm not sure exactly what that means although I could understand the point that the magazine went on to make that this is a brand for good-quality basics.

Over the last year or so in Copenhagen I have been to a couple of seminars or discussion sessions where some in the design world here have suggested that furniture and design companies could follow the example of the fashion industry by introducing a stronger sense of a "new season" for designs and move forward with more peripatetic designers and even more manufacture outside the country to keep prices down and give the marketing of design a stronger sense of momentum ... a stronger sense of novelty that the fashion industry has mastered so people should want to want to buy ... to stimulate sales.

I am trying to write a longer post on this but I was curious and interested to see on the H&M web site there is a section on sustainability not just for the materials they source and use but with advice for caring for clothes so they last longer and suggestions for recycling garments. For ARKET they give a short summary of the new brand as … 

“a modern-day market that offers essential products for men, women, children and the home, ARKET stores also include a café based on the New Nordic Food Manifesto. ARKET’s mission is to democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time.”

It is the second sentence that is important. Could this actually be a major fashion company moving the other way - moving towards the marketing ethos of the best Scandinavian furniture and design companies who promote investment in quality rather than a relentless drive to create and then satisfy a customers desire for novelty?

 

 

 

Certainly it was interesting to see that the men's section does include cashmere jumpers and the jackets for their suits have proper buttonholes on the sleeve cuffs which shows that they really understand both the rules and the traditions of proper tailoring.

Shop fittings included the classic Artek Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto and the home section has the Sarpaneva Pot so both the store designers and the company buyers have a clear sense of Nordic design heritage.

The home section was good … it would actually be interesting to know who their buyer or director of home sales is because they have chosen well and it will be fascinating to see how the home section develops. Again, as with the clothes, these are good basics. And what was also interesting was that the selection of items had a different look and character that is distinct from homeware sold in the H&M stores.

At ARKET they have glass jugs with a pouring lip but straight sided, like a chemistry laboratory beaker, and a similar style of straight-sided jugs and mixing bowls in white china and there is an interesting range of enamelled cookware from Hario; glassware from Duralex and some good plain cushion covers; some simple linen and a range of those Swedish brushes by Iris Hantverk made in workshops for visually impaired workers.

For someone moving into their first unfurnished place then they could make this the first stop for … here's that word again … basics ... the good quality items that would be a good investment.

Back to general points - the historic building seems to have been restored and converted well, with a muted colour scheme of stone and grey. Packaging for underwear and so on was in plain, unbleached cardboard and the café sold fresh coffee and olive oil and other foodie things that were, again, in well-designed simple packaging … hardly revolutionary but never-the-less good to see.

The café was comfortable with well-priced coffee and some fantastic cardamom biscuits so, all in all, a good afternoon.

ARKET

 

Venterum at Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere

 

 

An exhibition of the work of the ceramicist Kirsten Holm Nielsen, the textile artist Birgit Daa Birkkjær and the paper artist Jette Nørregaard under the title Venterum or Waiting Room inspired by the building which was the pharmacy of the hospital.

Kirsten Holm Nielsen

Birgit Daa Birkkjær

Jette Nørregaard

the exhibition continues until 24 September at Officinet, Bredgade 66, København K

 

 

KADK Afgang Sommer’17

 

This weekend is the last opportunity to see the exhibition of the projects and work of this year's graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation … a densely packed show of the talents and the phenomenal imaginations and skills of the students who have just completed their courses in Copenhagen.

There are profiles of the students and photographs and descriptions of their work on the KADK site.

The exhibition ends on 13th August. 

KADK, Danneskiold-Samsøe Alle, Copenhagen

Kunsthåndværkermarked - first day

 

 

Today was the first day of the major annual craft market at Frue Plads in Copenhagen - Kunsthåndværkermarked - with ceramics, glassware, jewellery and textiles. Organised by the members of the association of Danish crafts - Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - the market continues on Friday and Saturday 11th and 12th August. 

 

Kunsthåndværkermarked

 

 

Not in the normal location on the large square across the north side of Vor Frue Kirke in Copenhagen - because of excavation works there - but for this year on the other side of the church.

This is an opportunity to see - and to buy - some of the very best of Danish craft. And the weather seems to have improved just in time.

Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10-12 August

 
 

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 

 

Smaller Objects at the Swedish Embassy

 

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

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

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

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

Smaller Objects.com

 
 

editor's note:

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

Hay for 3daysofdesign

 

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

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

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

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

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

Hay

 

update - Liquid Life

 

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

DKoD Bredgade 66

 

Liquid Life - Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design 2017

This is the last two days of the Biennalen ... an exhibition of some of the very best of Danish craft work.

What is astounding here are those very qualities that are not normally associated with Danish design … or at least not with common preconceptions about Danish design from the late 20th century. So here there is strong, bold use of colour and texture and the exploration of ideas that challenge perceptions and preconceptions. 

The theme Liquid Life - about how precarious modern life can feel - is from a text by Zygmunt Baumann and taken from his book Liquid Life that was published in 2005.

“Liquid life is the kind of life commonly lived in our contemporary, liquid-modern society ... The most acute and stubborn worries that haunt this liquid life are the fears of being caught napping, of failing to catch up with fast moving events, of overlooking the ‘use by’ dates and being saddled with worthless possessions, of missing the moment calling for a change of tack and being left behind.”

With an amazing diversity of both materials and techniques - with works in ceramic and glass, with textiles, jewellery, furniture, book binding, fashion and photography - and with many of the artists combining several materials and in some works several specialist skills - these works are the response that these observations by Zygmunt Bauman inspired in thirty seven artists, designers and makers ........... a response and an antidote.

 

Liquid Life - Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk & Design 2017

Museumsbygningen, Kastelsvej 18, Copenhagen until 27 May 2017

 

 
 
 

note: select an image by clicking on it and that will take you into the gallery where the title of the work and the name(s) of the artist(s) can be found

more photographs

Silica Visions

FIXED//FLUID, Kitta Christiansen

Impossible Vessels, Thibault Varry

 

This weekend is the last opportunity to see Silica Visions at the Round Tower in Copenhagen … an exhibition of works by students who graduated this year from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design on Bornholm.

 

Rundetaarn, Købmagergade, 1150 Copenhagen K