Perfectly embodying the country’s wider ethos, Denmark’s major design event is democratically open, eco-conscious, highly stylish—and influential far beyond Scandinavia. Given the enduring gravitas of Danish design, the forms, color palettes, and materials showcased around Copenhagen from September 3 to 5 are worth taking note of. Here’s our pick of seven trends spotted at this year’s 3 Days of Design that are set to make their mark on the mood of coming seasons.
1. Beds and Linens Cater to Superlative Sleep
With a good night’s rest becoming the ultimate luxury in 2020, bedrooms have cemented their status as the sanctums of our homes. From essentialist frames and faultless mattresses to buttery-soft sheets, perfecting the components that facilitate our rest and relaxation has become the mission of Nordic textile and bed specialists. Hyped linen label TELKA has recently moved into effortlessly chic sleepwear while Danish bed manufacturer Re Beds recently received "Iconic" status for its fuss-free frame at the German Design Awards, and bed maker Auping sparks delight with its witty frame and fabric color pairings.
2. Environmentalism Fuses With Design DNA
Circular manufacturing will soon become the new baseline as sustainability gains a newfound momentum. Across Scandinavia, ever more brands are embedding environmental responsibility into their ethos from day zero. Taking its commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals seriously, furniture maker Mater reveals the results of its pioneering waste-to-value production method: elegant seating made from recycled plastic rescued from the ocean. With its roots in the forests of Central America, emerging slow timber brand FORESTA makes its debut with a line of sustainable, sculptural furniture. In a similar vein, ca’lyah has forged connections with artisans and stonemasons in South India for its Boris Berlin–designed Tranquebar Collection of side tables and chairs, offering a new outlet for longstanding craft traditions.
3. Audio Aesthetics Strike a New Tone
Slowly but surely, the bar is being raised for style in home tech design, with speakers looking as good as the sound quality they emanate. Industry-leading Bang & Olufsen have turned to the past to re-release an iconic early design, the Beogram 4000 series, fusing retro aesthetics with cutting-edge audio tech. Danish loudspeaker pioneers Dynaudio distill their sound engineering know-how into compact, cordless speakers that look as good on a kitchen shelf as they do a bedroom windowsill, and— because sometimes less noise is more—DESIGN EDITIONS takes the art of audio to the next level with their bold, color-blocked panels that reduce ambient noise and contribute to a cozy atmosphere.
4. Heritage Pieces Reemerge From the Archives
In response to the coronavirus-prompted production slowdown or halt, many design brands are digging deep into their archives to resurface classics formerly out of production, presenting them in a new context. Onecollection’s House of Finn Juhl opens the doors to its impressive new showroom in the historic former music publishing house, presenting the architect’s celebrated chairs, while Danish legacy brand Erik Jørgensen updates its collection in the form of a Casework collaboration with interdisciplinary Norwegian designers Snøhetta. Vipp, a family-owned business that began in 1939 with a humble pedal bin and has since spiraled into kitchen and furniture design, spent the lockdown transforming its inner-city store into an apartment-style space, Vipp Home, in which its original product still sets the standard.
5. Furniture Gets Ultra-Flexible
With our homes becoming spaces for, well, everything, flexibility takes ever greater priority. Furniture and interior accessories are becoming ever more modular, allowing us to scale up or down, accommodate multiple functions, and demarcate our days. No element of our homes is left behind in the movement towards modularity, from scalable carpets by Stockholm-based ALL MATTERS to bookshelves, ranging from classic takes by String® to relative newcomers like MOEBE’s expansive wall system. Individual pieces, too, are increasing in flexibility—like the adaptable seating frames of eco-conscious brand TAKT, or Stilleben Architects’ new Section Kitchen, that—being hand-painted—can easily be repainted when it’s time for a refresh.
6. Lighting Design Looks to Architecture
Faced with the recurring prospect of long, dark winters, European designers have fine-tuned the art of illumination for warmth, atmosphere, and wellbeing. This year, lighting environment designers are taking cues from architectural history when it comes to scale and shape. Danish heritage lighting manufacturer Møller & Rothe, together with Sammode Studio, is reissuing avant-garde 1950s lighting icons by French designer Pierre Guariche, while the latest collection of Slovenian label SENCE takes inspiration from wood veneer lamps conceived of in the early 1960s by then-emerging architects Nives and Franci Vehovar. In a cross-European collaboration, Italian flair meets Danish precision in the ongoing Alphabet of Light series by Milanese brand Artemide and Bjarke Ingels’s studio BIG.
7. Small Accents Bring Outsize Energy
Less continues to be more when it comes to adding accents. Interior stylists and accessories brands alike are embracing the power of a singular, well-placed object to set the tone in a room. Bonus points if it serves a purpose, as do a host of exquisite ceramic pieces by the likes of raawii—think smooth jugs in popping colors—and Nanna Egebjerg’s YŌNOBI, presented in an exhibition inspired by the Japanese principle of mingei, or the beauty of everyday things, together with Studio 0405 and Japanese photographer Maya Matsuura. Accessories designer Louise Roe presents her FUNKI Collection of pots and vases in reference to the Nordic funkis (functionalism) architecture movement, complemented by botanical arrangements courtesy of avant-garde floral artists Tableau CPH.
3 Days of Design takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from September 3 to 5 2020. Various locations, admission is free. Program available to view here.
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