3 DAYS OF DESIGN in 2023
In its 10th edition, 3 Days of Design 2023 transformed Copenhagen into a vibrant showcase for both Scandinavian and international design. From June 7-9, the city-wide programme came alive, exhibiting a range of innovative designs, reinterpreted furniture classics, as well as exciting new launches and exhibitions. The event was not just a festival, but a unifying experience that truly encapsulated this year’s theme, Where would we be without you. It was a testament to the power of a shared vision, a collaborative spirit and a dedication that spoke volumes about the city’s design ethos. 3 Days of Design once again positioned Copenhagen as a significant hub on the global design stage, delivering an experience that ventured beyond mere aesthetics to touch upon communal inspiration and unity. Here, we’ve taken the opportunity to select our favourite exhibitions and events from this year’s memorable lineup.
Micha van Dinther
In a display of eclectic creative collaborations, Copenhagen-based multidisciplinary studio and gallery Tableau presented two significant exhibitions. The first, in conjunction with Gernes Fonden, unveiled the relaunch of Light Flower, a lamp originally designed by esteemed artist Poul Gernes. The lamp represented an elegant fusion of industrial materials and organic shapes. The second exhibition, set within Tableau’s own space, showcased a collective of design aesthetics from various creators. Prominent among the display was Vaarnii, the Finnish brand acclaimed for its durable pine furniture that contradicts the transient nature of mass-produced items. Alongside Vaarnii’s pieces were handcrafted porcelain plates and sculptures from Ukrainian brand Gunia, amid other art pieces from talented designers associated with the gallery.
PHOTOGRAPHY Michael Rygaard
House of Craft
In House of Craft, Carl Hansen & Søn showcased their devotion to well-crafted design. The exhibition featured the revisited PK1 chair, originally by Poul Kjærholm, now adapted for today's lifestyle with its upscaled frame and paper cord seat. They also reintroduced two wooden coffee tables from the 1930s by Kaare Klint, proving the timeless appeal of classic design. Rounding off the display was the debut of Alfred Homann’s outdoor collection – seven pieces of functional yet thoughtful furniture, embodying Danish simplicity. The event successfully blurred the lines between the past and the present, underlining the enduring relevance of thoughtful craftsmanship.
The House of Nordic Design showcased the eclectic exhibition NoDe, featuring new and emerging Danish designers and artists including Kibun, St. Leo and Sia Hurtigkarl. The exhibition was held in the evolving Refshaleøen area on a 300 square metre pram, a nod to the location’s historic Burmeister & Wain shipyard heritage. The nature-inspired works presented a thoughtful exploration of sustainability and permaculture, while the incorporation of vibrant colour added a fresh touch to the Danish designs. NoDe was a highlight at the event, underlining the House of Nordic Design’s commitment to fostering new design talent.
Within the historic confines of Copenhagen’s Kuglegården, Swedish design brand Lammhults introduced its new showroom. This refurbished space, part of a 1741 Danish naval base, hosts the group’s sister companies – Ragnars, Abstracta and Norway’s Fora Form. The showroom intertwines design classics with contemporary elements, providing an inspiring backdrop for showcasing the capabilities of the Lammhults Design Group. Here, thoughtful furniture pieces are showcased alongside sound-absorbing solutions, illustrating the potential for comfortable, creative and productive working environments. Thanks to the curatorial expertise of Note Design Studio, the showroom subtly infuses modern design into the heritage Kuglegården building.
Weight of Wood
The Weight of Wood exhibition, a collaboration between Dinesen and Copenhagen and Singapore-based design studio Christian+Jade, presented a quiet sanctuary of exploration and reflection. Rather than unveiling the latest colours or finishes, they introduced us to the world of wood in its raw, essential form. Here, we had the opportunity to feel the heft of Dinesen’s Schwarzwald forest wood, and to understand its integral role in our lives. The experience was tactile, tangible and deeply captivating. The display ended with the reveal of Rocking Horse, Seesaw and Rocking Chair – reimagined with a playful balance of wood’s weight and movement. This simple yet profound exhibition served as a reminder of our enduring bond with nature, and it lingers in our thoughts long after our visit.
Unveiled in Kvadrat’s Nordhavn showroom, Multiply, a new curtain collection designed by Isa Glink, left a deep impression with its nuanced play between yarn, craft and perception. Particularly impressive was the innovative work of acclaimed designer Inga Sempé, who integrated her Sketches curtain series into the collection. Sempé utilised an iPad to delve deep into the fabric’s structure, translating two-dimensional concepts into tangible, three-dimensional textiles. The collection frames a space, complementing rather than overwhelming it, demonstrating the refined equilibrium between simplicity and complexity in design.
Frama’s exhibition Il Mercato adeptly illustrates a profound appreciation for the community and the impactful role of food culture in creative collaboration. It was a pleasant divergence from the norm to see not only new furnishings, lighting and home accessories but also a strong emphasis on organic produce – a manifestation of a collaboration with Apotek 57 and Grønt Marked. This exhibition is a testament to Frama’s vision of stimulating discourse around nature, food and creative expression, transcending the traditional confines of a design showcase. Il Mercato encapsulates the potential of design when coupled with community and food culture. We found the inclusion of organic produce particularly powerful, adding a unique and charming dimension that underlines the importance of local food culture, making it a standout in an often homogeneous landscape.
PHOTOGRAPHY Fabian Martinez
The remarkable Stilleben 2 exhibition took place in a restored ship warehouse, where Cypriot-born, London-based designer Michael Anastassiades, in collaboration with Anker & Co. and Dansk Møbelkunst, unveiled a fresh collection of lighting. Showcased amid rare, historic pieces from the Danish design gallery, Anastassiades’ work established an engaging dialogue with modernist Danish furniture that has long kindled his creative process. This event marked the second part of an installation series that began in Dansk Møbelkunst’s Paris showroom the previous fall, underscoring Anastassiades’s enduring commitment to appreciating and learning from design history and references.
This year, Japanese brand Karimoku returned to Copenhagen, presenting its bespoke wooden furniture collections within the walls of the New Mags bookstore. Transformed into a residential interior under the creative direction of Norm Architects, the space was segmented into zones for relaxation and exploration, offering visitors a multi-sensory experience. The installation featured furniture pieces designed by Norm Architects, Keiji Ashizawa Design and Foster + Partners, and was interspersed with objects and artwork from Bonnibonne, August Sandgren and Caché, along with a specially developed scent by @Aroma and paper lamps by Kojima Shouten. The exhibition was a poignant celebration of Karimoku’s craftsmanship, where the eloquence of the written word intermingled with the hushed whispers of wood, reflecting the warmth and intimacy of home.
PHOTOGRAPHY Sandie Lykke Nolsøe
Expressions of Character
Unveiling art and design’s inseparable bond, Fritz Hansen’s exhibition Expressions of Character in the historic Charlottenborg building in Copenhagen offers an immersive journey through iconic designs. The architectural installations, showcasing a blend of works by timeless visionaries such as Poul Kjærholm and Arne Jacobsen, and contemporary talents like Jaime Hayon and Sebastian Herkner, reveal the fundamentals of design – shapes, colours, light and materiality – in unique ways. The outdoor lounge area in Charlottenborg’s courtyard, elegantly decked with the Skagerak collection under an umbrella-lit sky, adds a touch of tranquillity in the scorching Copenhagen heat. This visit resonated with us, emphasising the fluidity of creative expression and the interconnectedness of art and design.
Unveiled at Audo Copenhagen, Terra, a collaboration between Sørensen Leather and Norm Architects, exemplifies the beauty and versatility of the earth. This collection of soft aniline leather, silky-matt in texture, subtly highlights each hide’s unique natural markings. Its diverse palette, spanning from vibrant greens and yellows to deep bordeaux and browns, has been curated by Norm Architects to echo the richness of earthly landscapes. The exhibition, styled by Pernille Vest, also showcased beautiful works and ceramic pieces from six diverse artists, their creations echoing the earthy tones of the Terra collection, forming a cohesive and multi-sensory experience that highlights humankind’s profound connection to nature.
PHOTOGRAPHY Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen