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3daysofdesign 2024: Showcases that ‘Dare to Dream’
Signe Terenziani, CEO of 3daysofdesign, donning a t-shirt with an imprint of the festival’s theme
Image: Courtesy of 3daysofdesign
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3daysofdesign 2024: Showcases that ‘Dare to Dream’

STIR enlists events, exhibitions, talks and brand activations that respond to 3daysofdesign’s theme with novel and striking outputs.

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jun 08, 2024

Any reference to the Danish design festival 3daysofdesign brings forth an image of vibrancy, liveliness and variety. Perhaps, some of this attribution can be credited to the city's pedestrianised urban design, its waterfront, canal and the brightly hued iconic townhouses of Copenhagen, where the event is held every year. However, one cannot discount the variegated showcases and installations at the annual design fair, which is tendriled by this simple and meaningful pursuit: “3daysofdesign is a festival for dreamers, doers and the design curious.”

3daysofdesign, which first began in 2013, as a small design event in an old warehouse in Nordhavn (a harbour area overlooking Copenhagen’s waterfront). It has exponentially grown in the past decade, such that it currently extends across the entire city and is considered the most significant annual design festival in Scandinavia. During its last edition in 2023, the festival in Denmark, which takes place in the second week of June each year, witnessed the participation of over 250 brands and the organisation of nearly 500 events. The upcoming edition of the event is scheduled to take place from June 12 - 14, 2024. The free-to-attend Danish design fair will play host to over 250 exhibitors, who will showcase novel works ascribing to the disciplines of product design, furniture design, lighting design, accessories, material experimentation and innovation and more, spread across 11 design districts.

The three-day design event utilises the various dynamic spots within the city as destinations for the 11 design districts, which are Holmen, Nordhavn, Amerikakaj, Bibliotekshaven, Vor Frue Kirke, Kongens Nytorv, Odd Fellow Palæet, Carlsberg Byen, Refshaleøen, Designmuseum Danmark and Marmorkirken. Each of these districts speaks of a unique progression in its land usage and culture over the years and is landmarked by both spectacular sites and civic infrastructure that speak of the city's dedication to sustainable and progressive urban development.

Keeping in line with the overarching quest that 3daysofdesign prescribes, the theme for its 2024 edition is DARE TO DREAM. Detailing the thought behind choosing this theme, Signe Byrdal Terenziani, CEO of 3daysofdesign, shares, “Dreams are the gateway to our innermost thoughts. A springboard for the imagination, free from limitations rooted in practicalities. It’s within this dreamscape that unconventional ideas and solutions are born.” The visual identity for this edition was created by Paula Madrid, BIG’s Global Graphic Design Manager. “We believe that with an array of different perspectives, we can achieve much more than as individuals. When we all come together, we become a kind of powerhouse. An ethos we share with 3daysofdesign,” Madrid shares.

In anticipation of the design fair, we enlist some showcases to look out for.

EXHIBITIONS

3daysofdesign this year is ready to play host to more than 400 exhibitions, spanning the showcase of domestic and office furniture, accessories, kitchen products and installations, lighting products, rugs, wall and surface finishes, bathroom fixtures, innovative materials and audiovisual designs, by both established and upcoming brands and designers.

TRANSCENDENCE

With a prime focus on materials, sustainability and circular design, the exhibition TRANSCENDENCE, curated by Danish architect and designer Frederikke Aagaard, is stationed in Werkstatt, within District Refshaleøen, which was formerly an industrial area and currently serves as a dynamic space for design enthusiasts. The exhibition seeks to invite visitors to delve deeper and introspect upon the perception and understanding of materials and explore their novel usages. “TRANSCENDENCE will transform a raw, industrial hall – once an important engine workshop for the Burmeister & Wain shipyard - into a dreamy vision of a more sustainable world,” reads an excerpt from the press release. In keeping with its promise to uphold its commitment to sustainability, the organisers have constructed the exhibition space using natural and recycled materials. The event includes a series of expositions and participatory workshops by Bill Amberg Studio, Daydreaming Objects, Fabric Forest, Grid System, Mari Koppanen, Nanette DeKool, Sheyn, Thayra Correia and Zeitraum, amongst others.

Peach Melba

PEACH CORNER, an exhibition venue for Danish and international ceramics will showcase the works of 12 ceramic artists in Frederiksberg during the Danish design fair. Entitled Peach Melba, the exhibition aims to present ceramic art that expresses novel aesthetics and is made via different kinds of processes: hand-modelling, 3D printing, sand casting etc. The exhibitors in this exposition include Anne Tophøj, Bente Skjøttgaard, Flemming Tvede Hansen, Gitte Jungersen, Hilda Piazzolla, Jeppe Søndergaard Hansen, Johannes Nagel, Lisbet Thorborg Andersen, Ole Jensen, Sisse Lee, Søren Thygesen and Turi Heisselberg Pedersen.

The Grand Suite

The Grand Suite is an exhibition led by Danish artist and designer Helle Mardahl’s eponymous design studio. Emulating both the event’s theme and Mardahl’s dreamy, eccentric and lavish aesthetic, The Grand Suite, stationed within the Marmorkirken district, beckons visitors to witness the interplay of contrasting colours, textures and shapes via her lighting collection.

UKURANT UNWRAPPED

Ukurant is an exhibition platform for young designers that celebrates experimental approaches to craft, material and tradition, with the intention of encouraging novel perspectives and methodologies in the creative field. UKURANT UNWRAPPED, with a selection of showcases by creatives from across the globe, seeks to call attention to the crucial and sometimes vulnerable theme: economics. “Ukurant aims to raise awareness and foster conversations about how young designers can establish economically sustainable practices — pricing their work, time and skills. Equally important is how the industry can support a new generation of designers at the beginning of their career,” mentions an excerpt from the press release.

Homebound

ID Collective, a design collective of 10 recent design graduates, presents their exhibition Homebound, which showcases 10 unique pieces of seating furniture. Each piece is inspired by the respective designer’s hometown and is made using locally sourced materials. “The exhibition aims to spark conversation on eco-conscious design practices within the design community and challenge visitors' preconceptions of Danish cities,” reads the exhibition description.

Exhibitions that address material exploration and retention of resilient practices

Some exhibitions at the fair that focus on material exploration and retention of resilient practices include The Beauty of Circularity by Tarkett and Ukraine House’s showcase of enduring design practices by Ukrainian brands. Renowned flooring and sports surfaces brand Tarkett’s The Beauty of Circularity is a textural and tactile exhibition about the implementation of innovative design and manufacturing, finding beauty in reused materials and ensuring complete circularity of each entity within the exhibition space.

‘Dreamy’ exhibitions

Some other events that add eccentricity and dreaminess to the fair include the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in the Marmorkirken district, Domestic Pleasures by Tableau; Teenage Dreams at the Danish Architecture Center, Bruma – A Thousand Landscapes by Italian brand Giopato & Coombes and the conceptually artful Feast of Eden group exhibition.

Exhibitions platforming young creatives

The design event also reserves space for young designers, within the Refshaleøen district. Several institutions, namely the Royal Danish Academy, Aalto University and Germany’s Faculty of Applied Arts Schneeberg, showcase the works of their students in collaborative group exhibitions. While the Royal Danish Academy showcases projects at the intersection of design and architecture and with a strong focus on material exploration, created by the 2024 master graduates of the Institute of Architecture and Design across its four programmes; Aalto University presents experimental furniture and experiences designed by students of Aalto University’s MA in Interior Architecture. Germany’s Faculty of Applied Arts Schneeberg, in collaboration with Neuschnee, presents a collection of curated handcrafted wooden products. House of Nordic Design’s curated showcase of works by upcoming designers, in the Kongens Nytorv district, seeks to attract attention towards the beauty of Nordic design. Entitled NoDe Exhibition 2024, the exposition platforms young designers from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

NEW LAUNCHES

Beyond thematic expositions, 3daysofdesign also plays host to pragmatic showcases such as the launch of new collections by various creatives.

Amongst the new product launches at the fair is Kristina Dam Studio’s Journey collection that comprises furniture, accessories, sculptures, lamps, textiles, mirrors, bath and hand care and illustrations and wall art. Spanish architect and industrial designer Patricia Urquiola’s Alder collection is a series of biodegradable plastic furniture mixed with either coffee or wood waste. The collection is produced in collaboration with Danish brand Mater. Schneid Studio will showcase a series of products, such as lamps, vessels and vases; and British architectural designer John Pawson will present The Pawson Furniture Collection, developed with Dinesen. Some other launches include Form22’s collectible design collection comprising impactful products aimed at fostering meaningful conversations.

TALKS AND SYMPOSIUMS

Any design event is incomplete without the inclusion of spaces where ideas can be vocally shared and deliberated upon. 3daysofdesign addresses this demand via a series of talks, workshops and symposiums, wherein critical subjects, relevant to current times, will be addressed and explored to extract discursive perspectives.

Talks on circularity and material exploration

Textile brand Kvadrat, in addition to showcasing their works at the fair, also play host to talks such as Circularity and Kvadrat Really (which seeks to bring a change in design perspective via strategies and product design) and Unwrapping conscious design (an exploration into applying conscious design into one’s workplace). Danish furniture brand Fritz Hansen’s Design in Architecture will attempt to explore the transformative effect of great design in modern architecture and Ukurant’s Kasper Kryster will deliver a talk-cum-workshop entitled Crafting Plastic, demonstrating his process. During the three-day event, one can also experience Erwan Bouroullec's 25 minute film about design and building one's house in Bourgogne, followed by a Q&A session.

Form22, in tandem with their exposition, is part of Design Talk: Collectible Objects and Climate Communication Design, which will be a conversation about the studio’s Climate Communication collection and its role in the creative realm. In the arena of material exploration, The Material Way, which is a collaborative platform for material-based studies, has announced workshops and talks pivoted upon the exploration of natural materials, their possibilities, processes and usages. These events are entitled Material Talks: From Natural Materials to Ceramics and Material Talks: From Waste to Bio-based Materials, respectively. A series of talks by the Lifestyle & Design Cluster, namely Design education of the future, Circular Design: Learning from Nature and Unveiling Strategies to Accelerate Circularity in the Lifestyle Industry seek to further the dialogues on shaping attractive sustainable futures, deriving inspiration from nature and accelerating circularity, respectively.

Talking about accessible design

Anker Bak’s Coffee by the Coffin - The future of assistive furniture is an exploration into the future of assistive designer furniture and DDcated’s AI in Design and architecture – How does the future look? is a talk-cum-workshop that will push visitors to witness and understand the impact of artificial intelligence on design processes.

Talks about inclusive design

As part of the three-day event, 3daysofdesign has collaborated with IKEA to host the COMMON GROUND Symposium, which invites visitors to ‘dare to dream, find common ground and dive into our collective responsibility in the design world’. The thematic hosts four discourses under its wing, namely Building Communities, Selecting Materials for Design, Designing for Impact and Leading with ESG & Design.

BRAND SHOWCASES

Brand activations and showcases are parts of design festivals that often delineate market trends and can serve as important points of reference for both inspiration and business.

Sustainable outputs at the fair

An exhibition that stands out at the fair is Danish material manufacturer Søuld’s showcase of their aesthetic transformation of eelgrass from its traditional use on thatched roofs on the Danish island Læsø, to its contemporary application in the brand's acoustic products and designs. Another brand that manages to retain its commitment to sustainability and material exploration is ateljé Lyktan, whose showcase of the Superdupertube collection (developed with Snøhetta) is a treat to the eyes and the environment.

Immersive showcases

This year, SONY will present an experiential showcase CREATE MORE FUN within Frederiksgade at the fair. “Introducing a shift in approach to Colour, Material and Finishes (CMF), transcending a mere material and interactive research-based showcase, it explores the dynamics of CMF and its integration in physical and digital dimensions,” the exhibition description explains. The gallery space will be divided into two different experience zones, to facilitate the exploration of CMF clusters and curated collections of related concepts, styles and elements.

Furniture showcases

Some innovative showcases by brands, worth exploring at the fair include 101 Copenhagen’s new collection of furniture evocative of interiors from the ‘70s and ‘80s; Fritz Hansen’s Islands of Wellbeing; TAKT’s latest furniture collection; 1882 Ltd’s tableware collection designed by Max Lamb; MAKE nordic’s sustainable sofas, chairs and tables; Fora Form’s BUD Chair; Vaarnii’s collection of furniture and lighting; BOMMA’s handcrafted crystal lighting; AnalogLab’s Luna lamp collection; Offecct’s brand activation at their showroom; and furniture by international brands such as Meridiani, Tom Dixon, Carl Hansen & Søn, Kettal, Arper, Artemide and Moroso.

Opening of Copenhagen Venice’s new showroom

Glass brand Copenhagen Venice is opening a new space in the city, in a hidden courtyard community located by the harbour and known to provide space for designers and craftsmen with unique skills. The showroom is configured to house a working space with day-to-day operations, whilst also providing space for the showcase of a curated collection of the Vetri Murano series, a collection of contemporary Murano lamps.

Collaborations and group exhibitions

Canada-based luminaire design studio and manufacturer A-N-D and Danish design company NORR11 have collaborated to bring the showcase of pendant lamps, ceiling lamps, wall lamps and floor lamps designed by Lukas Peet and Caine Heintzman to the fair.

Enter the Salon, a joint exhibition, will present a selection of works by distinguished brands from around the world, such as August Sandgren, Silkeborg Uldspinderi, Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Ambientec, Carpe Diem Beds, Origin Made and Karimoku Case. Another collaborative exhibition, namely Dreamscape, by UNIFIED, will feature works by 10 brands at Bredgade, namely Squarely, Wecycled Furniture, DDI Work Studio, Plauborg Furniture, NUAD, Wabi Sabi Nordic, Wehlers, ReCollector, Hemverk and Kodanska.

Design / Dialogue, a new exhibition concept by independent print magazine Ark Journal, will host showcases by 20 international brands and artists, with the intention of promoting high-quality design exhibitors under their helm including Agape, Agapecasa, Allaert Aluminium, Anker & Co, Ark Kollekt, Asplund, Astrid, Atelier De Troupe, BassamFellows, Bomma, Catellani & Smith, cc-tapis, Desalto, Hasami Porcelain, Mengel, Michael Anastassiades, More, Räkki Rugs, Sanayi313, Tom Fereday, Toni Copenhagen, Vaarnii and Wästberg.

Similarly, FRAMING, a joint exhibition, will showcase exclusive design brands and their novelties within Odd Fellow Palace. The exhibition will come back to 3daysofdesign for the fifth time this year with a hefty number of 46 brands, some of which are Arper, BoConcept, ClassiCon, Eva Solo, Forming Function, Heymat, Luceplan, M2Rugs, Man of Parts, Moooi, pulpo, String Furniture and Zanat.

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