The 3equals1 Design Team take Copenhagen! How does it compare to London?
We recently had the pleasure of going to Copenhagen’s renowned design festival, 3daysofdesign. After our recent venture through London’s Clerkenwell Design week, we were ready to explore all of what Copenhagen had to offer, so the team set off down the streets wandering through Industrial, Historic and Architectural settings hoping to be inspired and to unleash a new wave of creativity.
Setting out in two teams we decided to cover more ground, and in the large city of Copenhagen, this was a smart move. From the engaging showrooms in the city centre, to the industrial areas in the north, the city of Copenhagen lived and breathed Scandinavian design and showed us not only beautiful furniture but also materials such as natural Veneer stains and 100% recycled waste plastic products.
Starting strong we visited Softline, a Danish furniture company with simple and sleek designs that don’t compromise on comfort. The removable cover offers a refreshing opportunity for new colours, fabrics, or cleaning to give the furniture a second lease of life. They have a strong offering of ancillary furniture that ranges from modular sofas to fold out sofa-beds.
Talking about sustainability and flexibility, we definitely see ourselves using the Bond from Fogia. The Swedish design company has produced a straightforward and creative shelving system. We were particularly impressed with the playful ceiling hung system that can easily be adjusted, changed, or added to, for a client’s growing needs.
Another level of Scandi
House of Nordic Design had some amazing pieces of art and furniture that really grabbed our attention. A stunning gallery space on a barge for that extra WOW factor was the perfect space to showcase the excellent craftsmanship from Scandinavian designers.
One of the displays that stood out were the Natural wood oils and stains by Linolie & Pigment which provided a vivid and wide colour range. Entirely natural they produce linoleum paints without any additives using linseed oil. This paint is based on old techniques, using the right raw materials and good craftsmanship. This gives furniture a new lease of life without adding or subtracting to our natural world.
Sustainability and Aesthetics
Troldtekt offered good acoustics with an emphasis on sustainability. They prioritise both resource efficiency and environmental impact reduction throughout the product's life cycle. Instead of using conventional cement, they combined wood and clay with FUTURECEM to create an acoustic solution that absorbs more CO2 than it releases.
The Ferm Living showroom is the epitome of Nordic and Scandinavian design. With their wide selection of furniture and accessories, they introduce a cosy and soothing element to any space. The showroom extended to the lawn where the outdoor pieces were displayed in the sunshine. They provided wonderful settings for 3daysofdesign attendees to enjoy a crisp and refreshing drink on the grass.
Combining sustainability and aesthetics, Circular Design Studio demonstrates the potential of plastic recycling. One of their stools caught our eye, however, having a weight around 40 Kg, we wondered why it wasn’t hollow. In response, Circular Design Studio stated that they wanted to recycle as much plastic waste as they could. Not a bad approach and we like the fact that apart from their furniture, they can be used for surfaces and anything else you might possibly need! Look out for these guys…
Copenhagen vs London
With 3DOD being so soon after CDW we thought comparing the two festivals would be an interesting exercise. Although similar in many ways, as a team we felt that 3daysofdesign had a slight edge to Clerkenwell Design Week. We felt 3DOD created a connection between its attendees and its host city. This was achieved through hosting certain segments of the design festival through various hotspots in the city. From historic buildings, to the active industrial harbour which doubles as a bustling food market. This led to a pleasant contrast between the areas, helping the attendees experience the city as well as seeing beautiful products.
This provided a refreshing canvas for the products that were on show. Seeing them in a setting that is out of the ordinary, enabled us to realise that beautifully designed products can work in a variety of spaces, helping spark the creativity of designers matching old with new, yin and yang.
We love to see a platform
Something that really stood out for us was the number of talented young designers from either local surrounding or further afield, showcasing their work on the worldwide stage. A great example of this was the collective ‘Danish Design Makers’ helping to market young designers’ products. Their goal was to gain attention from manufacturers that could then carry their concepts into commercial production. They took great use of the large industrial warehouse and by showcasing the products as well as the story behind them, created a fascinating atmosphere.
Nine Studio also helped highlight new designers in the industry. The Butterfield Brothers caught our eye with 19 Outdoors, a collection of outdoor furniture that has been inspired by their charity project 19 Chairs. Each piece in the collection has a unique design inspired by the original 19 chairs, but they are unified by the material, colour and proportions.
But how does Copenhagen compare in our London culture of design?
As a team we noted the difference between both festivals when it comes to sustainability. Although CDW placed a lot of emphasis on this topic, which is fantastic, we felt that Copenhagen showed an advanced way of thinking which we found intruiging. When it comes to design, Denmark not only showed us a lot of sustainable products, but they were able to explain the story behind them, and we feel this is sometimes missed at CDW. For us it came across that the Scandinavian design industry naturally included sustainability in their design process whereas in the UK it sometimes feels like a hurdle to overcome.
Copenhagen's sustainable design philosophy is prevalent in the city's urban planning and architecture, with a strong emphasis on green spaces and sustainable transportation options to which 3equals1 got a glimpse of when travelling between the different areas.
Even though both of the design festivals are similar in many ways, as a team we felt that 3daysofdesign had a more user-centered attitude through the use of interactive experiences in comparison to Clerkenwell, which we felt was simply a grand show of products.
As overseas visitors we felt we had a chance to not only see the sites but great products as well due to the festival's well mapped layout. The festival's emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly design added an important dimension to the event, showing innovative solutions and vital environmental challenges. Overall, 3daysofdesign was a dynamic and engaging showcase of the best in contemporary design, offering something for everyone from industry insiders to curious visitors.
We had a great time and we are sure we’ll be back soon!