Denmark and Design - the double Ds are entwined in history. From it’s mid-century design heyday to ultra modern brands finding new fans around the world, Denmark is known for a modern, functional and simplistic aesthetic as well as good living and all things hygge.
Everything in Denmark lives and breathes good design - from architecture, mythical tales to its iconic chairs. If that isn’t enough to get you booking a trip, here are our highlights:
Aalborg - playful architecture and a living art museum
“I like to be on the edge of the possible” Jørn Utzon
Jørn Utzon (1918 - 2008) was the son of a naval architect and grew up in Aalborg. Best known for winning the competition to design the Sydney Opera House - his most iconic project. The sea and boats were a strong theme in much of his work including - the Utzon Centre, his last project designed in collaboration with his son Kim.
Like all his work, there are playful elements as well as the naval influence. The Utzon Centre sits on the Limfjord Waterfront in his home city and is the Nordic centre for architecture and design.
Whilst there, visit the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, a living art museum with space for immersion, wonder and fascination. The building itself was designed by the legendary Alvar Aalto.
Copenhagen - take a seat in the capital of cool
The very heart of Danish design has people talking in superlatives over and over. Copenhagen is in fact wonderful, wonderful. Much of the city can be enjoyed by walking around, getting lost in its side-streets or having coffee and a Smørrebrød while people-watching. If you’d like to find somewhere to eat Scandinavia Standard have written up a great list of the 6 best places to eat open sandwiches in Copenhagen.
But, for design-loving pilgrims there are a few must-visits.
Copenhagen has a lot of show rooms - the perfect place to pick up inspiration in real life as opposed to scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest. Immerse yourself in spaces you’ll never want to leave and feel the vibe of some of the cities’ best loved designers.
The coloured hues are absolutely gorgeous. Visiting the home of this modern Danish brand is to experience everything the brand is, and wants to be. Rooted in the Scandinavian design tradition of functionality, enduring aesthetics but using forward-looking materials and bold thinking. A new perspective on Scandinavian design.
Carl Hansen & Son
If you want an instant mid-century fix, Carl Hansen is the place to go. Their products are made to last, to pass down to generations and there is nowhere better to live out this iconic brands experience and visit the home of the classic Wishbone Chair.
"When Hay is at its best it is somewhere in between art, architecture and the time we live in," Rolf Hay.
An essential stop, Hay House 2.0 recently opened up as four floors in their art-nouveauesque building on Amagertov. Flooded with light and colour and shapes that symbolise modern Danish design, the space is endlessly exciting and inspiring.
For more on chairs
The Design Museum Danmark has a permanent exhibition of chairs. A country who makes chairs that are known by one name only - the Egg, the Swan, the Wishbone, knows a thing or two about iconic seating and here it's celebrated with an interactive and informative story of the most-loved Danish chairs all in one place.
You can't visit Copenhagen without getting to know Arne Jacobsen, designer of the iconic Egg Chair for Fritz Hansen. The Bellevue Theatre is located north of Copenhagen, overlooking the Øresund and you can do tours to learn more about Jacobsen's work and life.
Further still is the Louisiana modern art museum, on the same coast 22 miles North of Copenhagen. With permanent exhibits by Picasso, Warhol and more, a sculpture garden and views over the sea below, it's hard not to see why this is Denmark's most visited art gallery and well worth the trip out from the city.