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November 22, 2011

While in Copenhagen recently, I had the chance to visit the recently renamed Design Museum Denmark (formerly the Danish Museum of Art & Design), and to check out their current exhibition, the quirkily named "Danish Design–I Like It!" British designer Jasper Morrison combed through the museum's extensive archives to put together a personal tour of the country's design highlights from mid-century onwards. The exhibition, which is on view until December 30th, offers a colorful and fascinating look at a wide variety of Danish-designed objects and furnishings, from the iconic to the obscure. Here's a peek at the goods on view.

Here's curator Christian Holmsted Olesen at the exhibition entrance. The exhibition "is an attempt to highlight some of the qualities of Danish design, which only an outside view can give," Olesen wrote in the catalog.
Here's curator Christian Holmsted Olesen at the exhibition entrance. The exhibition "is an attempt to highlight some of the qualities of Danish design, which only an outside view can give," Olesen wrote in the catalog.
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The first room showcased Hallingdal textiles, designed by the Danish designer Nanna Ditzel in 1965 and produced by Kvadrat. It's Jasper Morrison's favorite textile, and upholsters many Danish furniture classics.
The first room showcased Hallingdal textiles, designed by the Danish designer Nanna Ditzel in 1965 and produced by Kvadrat. It's Jasper Morrison's favorite textile, and upholsters many Danish furniture classics.
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Hallingdal fabrics in a wide spectrum of colors formed the backdrop of the exhibition, in the form of upholstered, padded wall panels.
Hallingdal fabrics in a wide spectrum of colors formed the backdrop of the exhibition, in the form of upholstered, padded wall panels.
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As shown here, the objects Morrison selected are wide-ranging, from the AJ Floor Lamp, designed by Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen & Co in 1957, to a painted wood policeman, designed in the 1930's by Kay Bojesen.
As shown here, the objects Morrison selected are wide-ranging, from the AJ Floor Lamp, designed by Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen & Co in 1957, to a painted wood policeman, designed in the 1930's by Kay Bojesen.
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Above a case displaying objects including a toy wooden ferry and steel tableware by Erik Magnussen for Stelton is a "Signsystem" from 1972, with plastic lettering designed for Modulex and Lego (did you know Lego is a Danish company? I didn't).
Above a case displaying objects including a toy wooden ferry and steel tableware by Erik Magnussen for Stelton is a "Signsystem" from 1972, with plastic lettering designed for Modulex and Lego (did you know Lego is a Danish company? I didn't).
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One of the biggest delights of the exhibition was this exquisite, subtly ornate cabinet by Hans J. Wegner. "Wegner thought everything should be square and the form should be very rational," said Olesen. "But there's a party inside!" The "party"—consisting
One of the biggest delights of the exhibition was this exquisite, subtly ornate cabinet by Hans J. Wegner. "Wegner thought everything should be square and the form should be very rational," said Olesen. "But there's a party inside!" The "party"—consisting of 3000 pieces of inlaid wood on the interior—was created by hand by Wegner, a trained cabinetmaker, who did all the work himself in his apartment over 14 days.
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Olesen pointed out this suite of wooden chairs, consisting of (from left to right) the iconic Y Chair (1950) and The Chair/Round Chair (1949) by Hans J. Wegner, the J39 Chair by Børge Mogensen (1959), and the Kirkestolen by Kaare Klint (1937-38).
Olesen pointed out this suite of wooden chairs, consisting of (from left to right) the iconic Y Chair (1950) and The Chair/Round Chair (1949) by Hans J. Wegner, the J39 Chair by Børge Mogensen (1959), and the Kirkestolen by Kaare Klint (1937-38).
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A closer look at the quartet, which Olesen said showed an "evolution of chairs." The Round Chair (second from left) was "the chair that made Danish design famous in the US," he said.
A closer look at the quartet, which Olesen said showed an "evolution of chairs." The Round Chair (second from left) was "the chair that made Danish design famous in the US," he said.
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Continuing the evolution even further is this Trattoria Chair, which Jasper Morrison designed in 2009 for Magis. They were placed around the exhibition for weary museum-goers to take a rest. "When older folks of the modern school saw it, they thought it w
Continuing the evolution even further is this Trattoria Chair, which Jasper Morrison designed in 2009 for Magis. They were placed around the exhibition for weary museum-goers to take a rest. "When older folks of the modern school saw it, they thought it was blasphemy to put plastic on that chair," said Olesen. "But Arne Jacobsen was always stealing ideas from others and improving on existing forms." Morrison's chair continues that tradition.
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In the foreground, a red Kobenstyle and yellow Orecast pot, designed by Jens Quistgaard in 1954 and 1959, respectively, with an alphabet poster in the background by Claus Achton Friis.
In the foreground, a red Kobenstyle and yellow Orecast pot, designed by Jens Quistgaard in 1954 and 1959, respectively, with an alphabet poster in the background by Claus Achton Friis.
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In one corner of the show, a bright yellow Vola faucet, designed by Arne Jacobsen and Teit Weylandt in 1969, holds court with a tribe of wooden chairs from the 1940s and 50s.
In one corner of the show, a bright yellow Vola faucet, designed by Arne Jacobsen and Teit Weylandt in 1969, holds court with a tribe of wooden chairs from the 1940s and 50s.
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The exhibition also encompasses fine silverware, including a jug by Georg Jensen and cutlery by Henning Koppel and Kay Bojesen.<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dwell/
The exhibition also encompasses fine silverware, including a jug by Georg Jensen and cutlery by Henning Koppel and Kay Bojesen.

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Here's curator Christian Holmsted Olesen at the exhibition entrance. The exhibition "is an attempt to highlight some of the qualities of Danish design, which only an outside view can give," Olesen wrote in the catalog.
Here's curator Christian Holmsted Olesen at the exhibition entrance. The exhibition "is an attempt to highlight some of the qualities of Danish design, which only an outside view can give," Olesen wrote in the catalog.

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