The 11th edition of 3 Days of Design wows with a spread of showroom activations and product launches


Earlier this month, the designerati gathered in a chilly, rainy Copenhagen for the 11th edition of 3 Days of Design. Organized under the theme of “Dare to Dream,” the event was the largest version of the festival, with more than 400 design brands opening up their spaces or setting up shop across 11 neighborhoods in a variety of environments, from historic homes to Klub Werkstatt, a bar and nightclub in Refshaleøen across the harbor.

The impressive showing generated a small mountain of buzz. After this year’s ultra-busy Salone del Mobile, many observers—including Melissa Feldman in Business of Home and Alice Morby in Hypebeast—wondered if this was a new, more chill alternative. It certainly felt that way, though one could still wade through the crowd outside Palæ Bar, Copenhagen’s answer to Bar Basso. Rather than a week saturated by fashion and tech activations, I found Copenhagen to be quieter, more personal, and more manageable to explore most of what was on view. The Danish capital seemed to comfortably accept the bustle: More noticeable than the event’s attendees were the Metallica fans who flocked to see the metal act perform on Friday night.

These three days were filled with teasers, product launches, collaborations, and celebrations. The affair felt like a citywide showroom crawl that displayed the ongoing strength of Scandinavian furniture and design. If one tired of the elegant wood furniture and muted, quiet-luxury interiors, there were venues that took a chance to invite more experimental pop-ups and dig into questions of material flows and sustainability within design fabrication. An example of the former: Faye Toogood’s transformation of Frama using oversized, worn pieces of collage to create sculptural furniture. And of the latter: In its courtyard, Design Museum Danmark hosted “Circular Furniture Days,” which brought together examples of eco-innovation by furniture and surfaces manufacturers while also opening its new show DANISH MODERN, which includes a long gallery filled with the best chairs the country has produced. Both trajectories—that of recognizing the rich history of design in Denmark and beyond and supporting urgent conversations about how design must change in response to the climate crisis—ought to be strengthened in future versions of this successful event.

There were many high points along the way: Ark Journal’s thoughtfully curated group show introduced a range of new items, like RÄKKI RUGS (handmade in Nepal) and DÉCA, a new line of faucets for TONI Copenhagen designed by BIG. Artek continued its collaboration with Tekla to present fabrics using a cherry-blossom pattern designed by Aino Aalto to celebrate her 130th birthday. And in addition to Muuto’s product launches, the brand announced its inaugural Muuto Design Contest, which stands to be a way to support new talent.

I could go on and on—greatness abounded. From the many beautiful activations glimpsed during a fun week in Copenhagen, here are some stand-out selections. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

beige furniture
This group show took place across two floors of a townhouse (Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen)

Enter the Salon

Curated by Signe Hytte, this was perhaps the most refined group show. Sited across two floors of an old townhouse, the layered settings, imagined as the private home of stranger with great taste, handsomely showed off furniture by Japanese brand Karimoku Case and lighting by the U.S.-based Ladies & Gentleman Studio, along with items from Carpe Diem Beds, Origin Made, Ambientec, Silkeborg Uldspinderi, and August Sandgren. The rooms were dark and moody, a sensibility that was counterbalanced by the glass atrium’s lightness, ringed in curtains and populated with furniture designed by Norm Architects for Karimoku Case.

wood tables and chairs
&Tradition staged multiple installations across its showroom floors (Courtesy &Tradition)

&Tradition

This Danish furniture company presented several installations across its showroom floors. Beyond an archival look at Robin Day’s work, there were immersive installations by Anderssen & Voll and Luca Nichetto, the latter of whom took a personal approach with his Designing Memories room that staged handwritten text with objects that recalled the designer’s childhood. Additionally, the Studies of a Bench hybrid art-design exhibition staged new ideas for this familiar piece of furniture by Savvy Studio, Jeonghwa Seo, Agnes Studio, All the Way to Paris, and studioutte. My favorite was Agnes Studio’s Lata Bench, made from compressed aluminum cans, more evidence of the emerging “post-trash” aesthetic.

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