“Something is happening to the way people live” opined Nanna Ditzel in 1961; changing realities which caused her to reflect that, in terms of our furniture and interiors, “don’t we carry around a whole load of stuff that is old and defunct – and could actually be different.”1

With the exhibition Nanna Ditzel. Taking Design to New Heights, Trapholt, Kolding, explore how Nanna Ditzel approached and understood and realised that “different”…….

Nanna Ditzel. Taking Design to New Heights, Trapholt, Kolding

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 Say Hej! to... Nychair X Rocking by Takeshi Nii & Makoto Shimazaki

Le Klint

A Phaesporia; A Fonden; A Pleat

The Historia Supellexalis H for Hygge


A Curse; A Malediction; A Torment

In his 1961 short film Danish Design, Jørgen Roos tells how in the late 18th century the Danish artist Nicolai Abildgaard travelled to Greece and Italy in search of inspiration from classical art, and came back not only with artistic impetuses, but with classical furniture concepts he began to reproduce: “Abildgaard had become Denmark’s first furniture designer”.1

And while we’d argue about the validity of that claim, there is an undeniability in an understanding of not just furniture design, but design, as both a profession and a cultural expression, in Denmark and further afield, as having its origins in artistic practice.

And since then?

With the exhibition The Magic of Form – Design and Art, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg seek formal parallels and inter-twinnings in the (hi)stories of art and design…….

Reflections on Pop Art, as seen at The Magic of Form - Design and Art, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg

We go in withering July,
To ply the hard incessant hoe;
Panting beneath the brazen sky,
We sweat and grumble, but we go…..1

…..alternatively, skip the panting, sweating and grumbling with a visit to an air-conditioned museum.

Our recommendations for escaping the brazen sky of withering July 2021 can be found in Munich, Aalborg, Eisenhüttenstadt, Wrocław and Karlsruhe.

And as ever in these times, if you are planning visiting any exhibition please familiarise yourself in advance with the current ticketing, entry, safety, hygiene, cloakroom, etc rules and systems. And during your visit please stay safe, stay responsible, and above all, stay curious……

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for July 2021

The Historia Supellexalis D for Denmark


A Peninsula; An Archipelago; A Context

“Only slowly does it dawn on people that modern furniture must be designed on the basis of practical necessities”, observed the Danish architect and designer Kaare Klint in 1930.1

How Kaare Klint understood those “practical necessities”, how he understood “modern furniture”, would not only define his career, but in many regards define the development of 20th century furniture design in Denmark.

Kaare Klint (1888 - 1954)

Having started this Bauhaus Weimar centenary year by exploring the path from Arts and Crafts to Bauhaus, the Bröhan Museum Berlin end this Bauhaus Weimar centenary year by exploring the path from Bauhaus to Arts and Crafts Scandinavia.

Or more accurately put, by exploring Nordic Design. The Response to the Bauhaus.

Nordic Design. The Response to the Bauhaus at the Bröhan Museum, Berlin

Designer, grib magten! enjoined the 2018 Design School Kolding exhibition, Designer, seize the power!

Which not only sounds a bit more revolutionary than one is use to from Danes, but also implies designers should be in power. A position on which, and as we oft noted, we’re highly sceptical.

Intimately involved in power systems yes, but designers in charge…….

Consequently we thought it wise to set course for the Design School Kolding 2018 Graduation Exhibition.

Designer, grib magten! Design School Kolding 2018 graduation exhibition, Koldinghus

Counting amongst its alumni the likes of Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, Nanna Ditzel, Kaare Klint, Georg Jensen, do stop us if we get boring, Verner Panton, Thorvald Bindesbøll, Ole Wanscher, Poul Kjærholm, and pretty much any other Danish designer or architect of whom you’ve ever heard, and a great many more of whom you haven’t, the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi Copenhagen was formally inaugurated on March 31st 1754 in honour of the 31st birthday of Frederik V.

But is it a gift that keeps on giving?

A visit to the Schools’ of Architecture, Design and Conservation 2018 graduation exhibition promised to provide some answers……

KADK, Løsninger

Rely too heavily on popular representations of design from Denmark and one could come to the conclusion that Danes only started designing objects in the late 1940s, so often is one presented with Danish design books, exhibitions and newspaper/magazine/blog articles that begin, self-evidently, post-War.

With their exhibition Made in Denmark. Design since 1900, the Grassi Museum of Applied Arts Leipzig demonstrate that design in Denmark does have a pre-war, and pre-design, history.

Made in Denmark. Design since 1900 @ Grassi Museum of Applied Arts Leipzig

In our recent interview with the Danish designer and author Thomas Dickson, he discussed the relevance of 1968 as a year of revolution in Danish design. Founded in 1967 Design School Kolding grew up against the background of that revolution.

An indication as to if that spirit lives on as the institution celebrates its 50th could be found at the 2017 Design School Kolding graduation exhibition.

Koldinghus Kolding. Location for New Perspectives on Design. Design School Kolding Graduate Exhibition 2017

The exhibition Much More Than One Good Chair. Design & Society in Denmark at Felleshus Berlin explores the development of Danish design, and by extrapolation Danish society, since the end of the Second World War.

To find out a little more we spoke to the exhibition’s curator, the Danish designer and author Thomas Dickson.

Much More Than One Good Chair @ Felleshus Berlin

With the exhibition Much More Than One Good Chair. Design & Society in Denmark, the Danish Embassy in Berlin present an exploration of the evolution of design in Denmark since 1945. And by extrapolation of the evolution of society in Denmark since 1945.

Much More Than One Good Chair @ Felleshus Berlin

Design Derby Netherlands Belgium Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Mart Stam Thonet Gaston Eysselinck typistchair

“The real jewel of my disease-ridden woodlot is the prothonotary warbler”, confided the American author, ecologist and conservationist Aldo Leopold

It’s not all hard work you know. Just read a nice little article on dutch design portal design.nl in which

We at the (smow)blog aren’t above making advertising form others. If we feel that something passes to our remit, we