Can you name something that is Danish Design?

Danish Architecture CentreAfter a recent visit to Copenhagen, my eyes have been opened to the influence Denmark has had on design but in particular, I was fascinated by their attitude to wellbeing, happiness and their sense of play. This image to the left is the exterior of the Danish Architecture Centre, which typifies their love for all things design, colour and play. Inside, there was fantastic exhibition, which detailed a timeline for how the Danish culture evolved to include exercise and activity. The exhibition itself created a sense of fun, where kids could climb over it as perhaps the adults walked through.

Exhibition of Play

What struck me most about Copenhagen, was the openness, the small detailed brick work in their architecture, use of colour, sculpture, water fountains, outdoor dining and their enjoyment of exercise. Everyone was either running, walking or cycling. The bikes being a mode of transport, came in all shapes, colours and sizes. The infrastructure was very much geared towards the cyclist, with separate lights, lane ways and paths dictating the urban landscape.

Tower in CopenhagenThese examples of Danish architecture are just a couple of the styles you can find throughout the city. Copenhagen is characterised by the variety of styles such as Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo through to the modern architecture of today. They are wonderfully detailed with design, texture and colour. Apparently, with little access to stone, brick became the chosen material to build with. The first image, being the Church of Our Saviour (Dutch Baroque) unusually has a helix spire with an external winding staircase. It also is known for its melodic carillon in its bell tower that plays throughout the day and evening to midnight.

Some other examples (images below) of architecture and design that I came across, show the variety of materials, shapes and colours.

Copenhagen 1

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Even street utilities get given a face lift, along with the local birds living in colour.

Street Utilities

Colour Knit Wear

Copenhagen

The Locals like Individuality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The green light district in general and this roadway as you enter, exhibits loads of colour in the environment, as well as colourful characters! Art sculptures are dotted throughout the urban-scape, which always adds interest to building sights and pedestrian areas.

Copenhagen Green Light District

Crazy Paving

Copenhagen

Street Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I especially enjoyed the Dansk Design Centre. Design history at every twist and turn, with many influences, in particular the Japanese culture. The story of textile printing by the “Pioneer of Print”, Marie Gudme Leth was told and a visual documentation of Danish design through the ages was proudly on show.

Marie Gudme Leth - 'Pioneer of Print'

Marie Gudme Leth – ‘Pioneer of Print’

Print by Marie Gudme Leth

Print by Marie Gudme Leth

Copenhagen Danish Design Centre

Print by Marie Gudme Leth

 

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen Design Centre - Sphere

Sphere

Copenhagen Design Centre - Sphere

Sphere

Copenhagen Design Centre - Artistic Piano & Stool

Artistic Piano & Stool

 

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen Design Centre - Colours influenced by Japanese art

Colours influenced by Japanese art

Copenhagen Design Centre - Chair inspired by waves in Japanese art

Chair inspired by waves in Japanese art

Copenhagen Design Centre -  Japanese Sword Hilsts

Japanese Sword Hilts Inspire Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bike made with a bamboo frame

A bike made with a bamboo frame

A range of contemporary Danish Design

A range of contemporary Danish Design

Bike with a practical design for carrying

Bike with a practical design for carrying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, back to my question, what do you think of when it comes to Danish Design?

For me, the one product design that comes to mind and has brought me, along with millions of children and adults alike all over the world, so much fun is Lego.  The creator, Ole Kir Christiansen in 1934, went from making wooden toys to designing the colourful, interlocking bricks that we know today. The name Lego derives from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which means “play well” and the company still remains in the family. It just goes to show, how good design can last forever and how design & colour and bring you so much joy.

The different branding logos throughout Lego's History

The different branding logos throughout Lego’s History

Looks a lot like Nessie!

Looks a lot like Nessie!

City Landscape made from Lego

City Landscape made from Lego

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should you ever get to Copenhagen, then remember to  ’LEG GODT’ and appreciate all things design & colour.

This entry was posted in Jane's Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Can you name something that is Danish Design?

  1. jane.chrumka says:

    Denmark is well worth the visit. Hope you get there sometime.

  2. Anna Kirsen says:

    When I read the word Danish, blue cheese is the first thing that sprung to mind!
    I have never actually visited Denmark, would love to now after reading your blog. I didn’t know it has so much wonderful architecture.

    Boha Glass

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>