Hello, my friends! As you might know, I recently went to Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen to see their exhibition Danish Design Now – an exhibition displaying the nordic style design branch. In my previous post, I wrote about their haute couture exhibition, which displayed works by Erik Mortensen. There are a lot of goodies at this exhibition for those of you out there interested in art and design however.
You can find nordic style pop art installations, historic furniture from Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen, a lot of arts and crafts such as old advertising posters and much more. If these subjects interest you and you are and you are in the neighborhood, you should definitely go check it out. The exhibitions described here are all permanent exhibitions, so you should be able to catch them any time.
Chairway to Heaven
One of the items prominently displayed at Designmuseum Danmark is their exhibition of nordic style chairs through different design eras. It is quite interesting to see how this common house hold item has changed its appearance from a practical “sitting device”, so to speak, to a piece of art. The historic collection of chairs is displayed in this quite interesting “Chairway to Heaven” as I like to call it – the lights will turn on in each of the little cubicles as you walk down the hallway.
Having been involved in production and quality assurance in manufacturing in a not so related industry (electronics), I can still relate to how the designers of these chairs must think. For not only should a chair be nice to place your buttocks in, it should also be eye pleasing and most of all, I can imagine quite a lot of thought must go into how the factory should be able to manufacture the different pieces of the chair most efficiently. This subject is partly covered in the exhibition and for me this is one of the most interesting part of design. The most beautiful piece of design is one that pleases both the user and impresses with its efficiency in manufacturing.
I put together this little collection of chairs to show you the diversity in the chairs displayed. I would have liked to show you more pictures, but my photography skills need improvement, so I will just leave you with these appetizers and let you go and see the rest for yourself.
Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen
The two most iconic Danish designers of all time must be Arne Jacobsen (11 February 1902 – 24 March 1971) and Poul Henningsen (9 September 1894 – 31 January 1967). The latter you might know just by his initials “PH” as his most famous work is just called the “PH lamp”. These two designers are of course also represented in this exhibition with their works. Not only their signature items such as the “egg chair” by Arne Jacobsen and the lamp by PH are there. You will also find other items such as toys and other house hold items, which you might not have known about or seen before.
The PH lamps below are some of the early iterations of the design. The design is the classic shape, which you are already familiar with, but the materials have changed through time. In the beginning the shells of the lamp were made of glass and not aluminum as they are today. The piano you see is actually also designed by Poul Henningsen.
Arts and Crafts
A lot of thought has gone into most of the house hold items we all use every day. In the exhibition you will find many examples of designs that came from Denmark. Some you will probably recognize immediately and maybe you will be surprised that they originate in Denmark while others are curiosities that are interesting in the sense that both the art and craftsmanship is at a high level while the utility is not so great. All the pieces are part of the artistic design journey taken to where we are today however, so they are also very interesting to study.
Here is a small selection of the pieces you will find in the exhibition.
Pop Art and Design
Speaking of curiosities, some might consider the “Pop Art and Design” section full of exactly that, but I cannot personally wait for the Pop Art retro trend to start. These items are so colorful and vibrant that they deserve a revival. You can see a small selection of the works displayed in my little gallery here.
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed my pictures and scribbling.