Nordic furniture design exhibition opens in Shanghai

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/7 18:38:39

Power Station of Design recently organized a media tour for their New Danish Modern exhibition. Design Denmark, the largest, independent design organization in Denmark, together with its curating team of Troels Seidenfaden and Thomas Dickson, presented a selection of examples from the past, present, and future of Danish design.

The event was attended by Casper Freddie, Consul of Royal Danish Consulate General in Shanghai, Bo Xi, an architect and founder of WOWdsgn, and Esben Overgaard, manager of ENIITO Company. The organizers gave inspiring, educative speeches on Danish design history and new modernity.

The late start and the atmosphere of a leisurely Friday afternoon highlighted the relaxed yet well-organized Nordic character of the event. Visitors took their time to examine the exhibits, which drew parallels between Danish designs between the 1950s and 1980s.

Each classical exhibit was contrasted with its modern version. The idea was to demonstrate the continuity and development of Danish design by mirroring the new designs with a heritage in various dimensions. In this manner, Air Titanium Reading Glasses from 1986 were put beside Orgreen Reading Glasses designed in 2016.

However, all the exhibits had one specific feature in common: a timeless look and intact values. "We have this virtue of capability which I call a sustainable design. It keeps the value all the time," explained Overgaard, manager of ENIITO.

Exhibits presented at the New Danish Modern exhibition Photos: Courtesy of Kelly Du

Evolution, not revolution

Nordic countries have always been a great source of creativity and design capabilities, specifically strong in interior and furniture design. The roots of Danish Modern dates back to the 1950s, when postwar industrialization led to an increase in people's purchasing power and elevated living standards.

This is when designers in Denmark began creating beautiful yet functional products. They strove to develop designs that people of the time required: practical and innovative while pleasing to the eye.

New modernity adds a playful yet simple uniqueness to traditional Nordic design through understated yet edgy details, providing a range that is adaptable to any environment. However, New Modern is not radically different from classical Nordic designs.

"It is just that, now it becomes a little softer, more colorful and more comfortable. It is not a revolution; it is rather a natural evolution," Overgaard said.

Older, well-known designs, famous for their timeless features, are still widely used in common Danish interiors. Classical Danish furniture made the biggest impression at the exhibition. Many exhibits were provided by the CEO of WOWdsgn Company, Bo Xi, from his personal collection of 500 Danish designs.

Consul Casper Freddie said China has a niche audience when it comes to Danish home furnishings. "Nordic minimalistic/simplistic style has been always popular among Chinese people since it has much in common with Japanese style, which is also highly appreciated by Chinese people."

Exhibits presented at the New Danish Modern exhibition

Spring Copenhagen

Three areas of the event represented 18 categories and designers of ENIITO. They were hatched from a genuine passion for New Nordic Design and the simple thought of all the untapped potential that exists in Scandinavian craftspeople.

Aiming to place a piece of New Nordic design into every home internationally, ENIITO specifically presented a range of home accessories called Spring Copenhagen by Claus Nielsen and Peter Sørensen.

The fundamentals of Danish design include quality, minimalism and functionalism. "A kitchen is a social place in Copenhagen, which proves that things should be functional first of all," said Overgaard.

Though a pale color scheme is unique to Nordic style, New Danish Modern includes more colorful designs, as Chinese people appreciate brighter colors. "There is a transition revealing maturity and the readiness for authentic designs. People now are more focused on emphasizing inner values rather than investing in a blink," added Overgaard.

"This is more like a cultural art-oriented exhibition, rather than a commercial one. This is our job to promote Danish designs in China. We represent elements of Danish design in a beautiful way," said Freddie.

The article was written by Catherine Valley

Exhibits presented at the New Danish Modern exhibition

Newspaper headline: Danish Modern


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