While in Copenhagen last year, we had a chance to stop off at the Danish Design Center to see Denmark by Design. The exhibit shows the development in Danish design from 1945 to 2010, with iconic pieces popular in the homes, workplaces and public arena from the time it was introduced to today.
The exhibit starts out with Kay Bojesen’s wooden toy monkey, an assortment of LEGO bricks, and Arne Jacobsen’s City Hall clock, designed in 1956. The aluminum coffee and water jugs were designed by Erik Herlow in 1955. See the aqua nesting bowls in the foreground? You probably own a version of them today. Called the Margrethe nesting kitchen bowls, they were designed in 1955 by Jacob Jensen for the firm Bernadotte & Bjerns, and manufactured by Rosti.
Danish design in the 1950s…
The PH 5 pendant lamp, designed by Poul Henningsen in 1958 and manufactured by Louis Poulsen is as Danish as it gets. It hangs all over the city, in hotels, restaurants, stores, museums and homes. The brightly colored blue, yellow and red melamine kitchen wares in the middle, towards the right, were produced in the early 1960s.
Housewives in the ’50s had some well-designed accoutrements, including a meat slicing machine.
Arne Jacobsen designed this cutlery for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. It was highly controversial when launched in the mid 1950s for its minimalism.
Silhouettes become a bit groovier in the late ’60s.
Yes, Verner Panton was Danish too. In 1960, he designed the first single-form injection-molded plastic chair, the Panton S chair.
You’ve likely seen Vola faucets without realizing the significance. Arne Jacobsen designed them, and like many of his products, are very popular throughout the country in public and private spaces.
Arne Jacobsen designed these stainless steel pots too, manufactured by Stelton.
In the ’70s, good design hit the workforce.
Stackable porcelain dinnerware became popular in cafeterias and individual homes around 1970.
You surely recognize Erik Magnussen’s 1970s vacuum jugs with the tip-up lid, manufactured by Stelton in plastic and stainless steel. As for the telephone, we bet your home or office used to have a similar one (and maybe still does!).
Green sensibilities emerge with innovations like increased wind power and electric cars in the 1990s.
Good Danish design continues into this century. . .
We love the Normann Copenhagen grass vases. On the left are three pieces of Ole Jensen’s curvy dinnerware series, introduced in 1997, by Royal Copenhagen. It was an instant hit, and is part of the MoMA’s permanent collection.
Karen Kjældgaard-Larsen updated Royal Copenhagen’s 1775 Blue Fluted design with a modern twist. A great success, the company has dubbed it a “neo-classic.”
In 2001, LEGO introduced the Bionicle series, still popular among tween boys today.
The exhibit runs though May 11, 2013 at the Danish Design Centre, H.C. Andersens Boulevard 27, DK-1553 Copenhagen V.
Design Milk’s trip to Copenhagen was hosted by Visit Denmark.