From iconic chairs to pig feeding machines – Designmuseum Danmark show us how far Danish design has come

We all know that there is much more to a product than meets the eye. Products can shape the way we interact with them, with others and with the world around us. By taking a closer look at the products of our everyday lives, much is revealed about ourselves, our society and our purpose and ambitions. Now it is possible to do just that at Designmuseum Danmark’s newly opened exhibition Danish Design Now, which displays contemporary design from the year 2000 and forward.

The exhibition exemplifies the outcome of good designeering, where understanding the users of the products is at the core. For the seemingly anonymous products of our everyday lives, the design is not about making the product and then finding the right customer for it. It’s about figuring out what the customer needs, and making the product in a way that fulfils those needs. And that’s what designeering is all about.

Additionally, in Denmark’s lifestyle society, the mere functionality of a product is no longer sufficient – products express who we are, and for that reason, products must also signal aesthetics and sophistication and involve sensory engagement and emotional satisfaction. The designer must therefore consider the people, the design, the development and the production throughout the entire process, and put an equal amount of focus on all elements.

Part of Danish Design Now’s purpose is also to challenge the common conception of Danish Design. On display is the broadest spectrum of design imaginable. Amongst those items that we intuitively refer to as ‘Scandinavian Design’, such as iconic chairs and porcelain, we find pig feeding machines, wireless routers, desktop lamps and Bluetooth devices – all perfect examples of great designeering. The products of everyday design make it surprisingly obvious to us that much has happened since ‘the Golden Age’ of Danish design in the 1950’s.

The exhibition is set up like an urban maze, and the visitor must look high and low to take it all in. Besides the wide array of products, the exhibition also takes a much larger outlook on the process behind the design. Sketches and video interviews placed throughout the exhibition make it possible to follow this process. In the interviews, the designer’s thoughts and decision-making is revealed to us through their explanations of the preliminary research, which they use to better understand their products’ users. They also explain their assessment of the materials and technologies, as well as considerations concerning the design expression. The first models and prototypes come to life from this, and eventually evolve into the finished products displayed in the densely set atmosphere of the exhibition.

The exhibition is now open, and with its broad focus it is relevant to everyone. Find information about tickets, opening hours and much more here.


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