Three Days of Design Copenhagen 2021 – introduction

Continuing  my reports from the design weeks this fall. Next up Copenhagen and the concept Three Days of Design. Absolutely more of a design week than a fair. I will start this with an overview first. Colours, a bit of materials and shapes for tomorrow.

The concept with Three Days of Design started about eight or nine years ago when a handful of Danish brands opened their showrooms in a joint activity. Marketing manager at one of these brands was Signe Terenziani. A few years after the launch she continued the project and now runs it on her own. This year the event attracted about 200 exhibitions/showrooms and officially about 10 000 visitors.

Three press groups and I think there was an official B2B tour as well. I was on one of these tours, and it wasn’t really clear on how the groups were divided. But obviously I was in the best group…

The Danish design week is amazing. There is no other word to start with. The city comes to life and there are exhibitions almost everywhere. Obviously this Scandinavian design scene is very beige or white. Very. Very, very, very. Like here at Vipp. But there are things happening behind the surface. So for instance Vipp might look the same as previously but now they launch a new supper club concept.

Styling looks the same as it has for the last few years. The odd ceramic pieces is in all installations.

And lots of relaunches. Here Brdr Kruger with a chair by Nanna Ditzel from 1984.

Who won?

I know it is a bit provocative to say a thing like this, but out of everything launched in Copenhagen, I was really surprised by brand Wendelbo. I have been complaing about lack of news but Sebastian Herkner and Luca Nichetto managed to make some really innovative and cool design.


And of course this is a year when we won’t see any new aesthetics or innovation. All Danes are reproducing an old classic. Everyone. This 60s looking sidetable is from Gubi.

So how to get attention when everything is same, same. It is suuuuuuper evident that “art” is the new attention bringer. It could be a launch at a gallery, or with performances. I heard about a launch where people came in to a room and read poems. And then left.

Here art pieces at a gallery with Le Klint.

Well, I deserved a cocktail here.

But that was not enough for Le Klint. A floor above the installation they had 75 minute long contemporary dance performance. Strange? Expect more of this 2022.

Here Carl Hansen & Sön with Dux where an artist had made unique pieces on the wall. And of course a relaunch of a Danish classic (Mogensen in this case).

And where ever you were passing by – there was an installation. Here two dancers who had just made contemporary dance on this rug.

Me resting at a gallery… What are we really looking at??



Sustainability is of course talked about in most places, but in Copenhagen there was an annual exhibition with 40 or so projects in one space. Established brands like Rosendahl and young unestablished brands like these textile upcycle projects. Here Danish Arvestykke. Didn’t find their website so look at their instagram – @arvestykke.



But Copenhagen also proves that they are innovative. Just a week or so before this, was Milan, and there Bang & Olufsen launched a new repair service. You can take your fleamarket find and get it updated for 2022. It is costing a semi-fortune but super interesting.

More from the sustainable exhibition.

And here too.And you realise when you talk to the designers that they haven’t really thought of everything. But that is ok. This girl made a table where she had used spare stone parts she had find, liked and salvaged. So I asked – “what is the rest if the material?” And that was oc course concrete, an unstustainable material.

But regardless. I liked the creativity in this.

A design week like this – of course there are drinks. I behaved…

A way to measure the importance of a design week is to see how many of it’s international stars are here. There are plenty here. I hung out with Ilse Crawford, Giulio Cappellini, Sebastian Herner and tons of Scandinavians.

And also the press team represented impressive titels. Vogue, Elle Decoration, Damn, Trendstefan…

But this is why you go to Three Days of Design. Fantastic installations with contemporary Scandinavian design in beautiful settings. I know. I do really understand the criticism from my fellow international journalists. Can anyone separate the Scandinavian, Nordic or Danish epressions? Just by looking at this sofa above – do you know what brand this is?

But beautiful settings. Here Ebb&Flow.

The one thing that constantly came back during all the talks with journalists and visitors was the lack of a platform for young, unestablished designers. The picture above and the one below are from Ukurant. This was an amazing installation of young designers. But I do see the criticism. You still want more. Ukurant was good. But we all need more. Last picture was from the exhibition at Swedish Embassy with some representation of young design. Some…

So as a conclusion. What can you compare Three Days of Design to? It’s not Stockholm Furniture Fair, not iSalone. not Dutch Design Week… I guess the closest thing you can compare this to is New York Design Week. Of course not ICFF but the other things in town.

This is better organised. Has more established brands. A friendly openess. What New York has is more of smaller brands. Younger in general. More of a “fuck you”-attitude.

Last comment. Are design weeks replacing fairs? Absolutely not. It is a complement. Just as fun. During a design week like this I get to attend 7-8 brands per day. During a fair I get to visit 48-58 brands in a day. Fairs are super efficient. But design weeks are nice too.

Grades for Three Days of Design? Absolutely five out of five. No doubt.

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Gunnar Hoffrichter
Gunnar Hoffrichter
2 years ago

missed it this time, busy after having been in Paris … must go again next time! Thanks for your report!