The eleventh edition of 3daysofdesign 2024 has just ended in Copenhagen (12-14 June): 4 projects chosen for as many macro themes that are protagonists of contemporary Nordic design

Perhaps the dream come true of this eleventh edition of 3daysofdesign was to have triggered and stimulated every type of possible relationship, therefore connection: between companies and designers, between designers and professionals, between enthusiasts, between places, ideas and projects.

The city came alive for three days, welcoming, exhibiting and looking after professionals who came from all over the world precisely with the aim and desire of being able to access these exclusive connections, because they are rare, yet inclusive, because they are open to everyone.

Power, energy and creativity, in these 3 days dedicated to design, return to the hands of people who, for a moment, realize that they can do without technology and exhibitionism in favor of spaces dedicated to 'listening and to the word.

Between tradition and innovation

The search for a respectful, but also sustainable and strategic, bridge between the design attitude and the craftsmanship of the origins and the production processes of today is probably the leading theme of contemporary Scandinavian design, but not only. Vandra Rugs, a Swedish company with ateliers in Ukraine and the story that Marie Wallenberg Olsson, co-founder of the brand, shared during a touching early morning talk accompanied by coffee and sweets, testifies to the difficulties that the construction of this bridge may encounter, which not only connects eras, but lifestyles, social and environmental priorities.

Among the novelties presented, the Seasons Tapestry Collection, a new series of tapestry carpets designed by Ami Katz, partner of the Swedish architecture studio < strong>3dO Architects, inspired by the colors of the changing seasons and born from years of watercolor sketches.

Design and architecture

The contamination between design and architecture in Denmark is another constant presence in the world of design, easy to perceive even simply from the street, looking around, admiring the architecture and peeking into the shop windows. During this year's 3daysofdesign, Fritz Hansen collaborated with the Cobe architecture studio to present “Islands of Wellbeing”, three installations dedicated to hospitality, outdoor and to work spaces, which investigated the transformative effect of great design in modern architecture.

Fritz Hansen and Cobe, entities linked by the common vision of the project, maintain that both architecture and design have an origin rooted in the past, but aimed towards the future with the aim of improving the human experience.

Whether it is designing urban landscapes or furniture, both disciplines start from a sketch that evolves thanks to human work.

The role of the designer in production

How can designers be more involved in the production and distribution of their works, how can they bring their vision to the market more directly and without too many compromises? These are the questions around which long conversations developed between Erwan Bouroullec and the young Danish company raawii, founded in 2017 by a designer and an economist with the aim of producing accessible contemporary design and to help designers, who often find themselves behind the closed doors of the industry, to bring their ideas to the market.

Erwan Bouroullec and raawii thus decided to combine their respective energies in the "Happy Sobriety" exhibition, proposing, during the three days of design, an exploration of the personal works of the French designer and presenting, together, the new Arba chaise longue which marks the beginning of the collaboration with the company.

Simple and refined, the seat maintains the formal purity of an experimental prototype, but it is a precise and well-thought-out industrial product, distributed in a flat box that can be assembled with a few simple actions.

Sustainability shapes new projects

ReThink” is the exhibition organized by the team dedicated to the Design Project of the Danish company Kvadrat within its showroom in Copenhagen. Twelve international designers involved, chosen by the curators for their ability to respond creatively to sustainable approaches and thinking.

The designers had a free hand and, through their works, demonstrated how the multiple aspects of sustainability can shape design, stimulate research into materials, increase collaboration between communities and cultivate new aesthetic values.

Some of the projects worked on connections with social and cultural contexts, highlighting the importance of community involvement in sustainable design practices. Others drew inspiration from nature and highlighted the relationship between design and environmental sustainability.

Still others were based on the principles of circularity through the reuse of materials, the inclusion of recyclable elements or attention to end-of-life processes.

And it is precisely from the observation of this increasingly relevant attention to circularity that we conclude our visit to 3daysofdesign accompanied by the words of Signe Byrdal Terenziani in response to our question about the future of design and in particular Danish design: “There are some trends in Danish design that may not occur all over the world.

This can be seen in designers' choice of materials, in more inclusive ideas, for example the large number of projects that give dignity to people with physical problems and, finally, in production processes that take into account the impact on society.

I notice that here there is also greater co-creation between design disciplines. More scenarios of living and working together, more agile "remote" lifestyles and a life increasingly focused on direct contact with nature.

Fortunately, the trend towards mass production and fast furnishing is shifting towards a design industry that supports eco-friendly choices, with brands that demonstrate they care about people and the planet.”