Copenhagen Design Week 16.12.09

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Soul Wash by Henrik Vibskov and Andreas Emenius

Copenhagen spent its first annual design week enjoying a late-summer heatwave. This seemed appropriate as the week had a typically Danish fixation with renewable energy, and solar panel curtains were on show in two of the three main venues.

At It's a Small World, an exhibition at the Danish Design Centre opposite the Tivoli fairground, Astrid Krogh's SunTiles were powering the world's smallest desklamp. They stirred gently in the breeze generated by Soul Wash, a kind of walk-in dry carwash by fashion designer Henrik Vibskov and artist Andreas Emenius. It's a Small World suffered a little from its hydra-headed brief – "sustainability, human scale, new craftsmanship, non-standardised praxis" – but there was plenty of interesting work to be found, from Mathias Bengtsson's carbon-fibre Spun bench to the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture's digitally tooled modular exhibition system.

Across Copenhagen harbour at Hal-D, a venue near the Danish Architecture Centre, was ShowHow, which had a more specific sustainability theme. The sun-powered contribution here was American studio SMIT's Solar Ivy. As the name suggests, ShowHow had a more practical edge, and included some pieces we recognised from elsewhere, such as Greg Lynn's table made of recycled plastic toys and Mischer Traxler's yarn-wrapped Idea of a Tree stool.

Less familiar work by Danish studios included We Do Wood's lounge chairs and Bok's absurdly kitsch Fence furniture, apparently assembled out of farmyard junk, including hay bales and garden forks. In keeping with the theme, the exhibition space itself was built out of cardboard boxes, which could be dismantled and turned into chairs when the fair finished.

 

 Words

William Wiles

quotes story

At It's a Small World, an exhibition at the Danish Design Centre opposite the Tivoli fairground, Astrid Krogh's SunTiles were powering the world's smallest desklamp

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It's a Small World with Mathias Bengtsson's Spun bench at centre and CITA's exhibition system on the rear wall

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