Copenhagen – the capital of Scandinavian design, and hub of all things super cool. The buildings and architecture is immaculate, the people are cool and confident, the streets are filled with electric cars and bikes. Filled with energy, colour, and life, it’s a city for design lovers.
So, it should come at no surprise, when the 3 Days Of Design Festival announced its post-covid return, we immediately rejigged our June calendars, put together an itinerary, packed out bags, and boarded a plane bound for Copenhagen (with a stop over in Singapore airport).
Though it was a whirlwind trip with so so SO much to take in, we came out the other end with phones overflowing with photos and videos, and keen inspired minds. And we want to share all of this with you! Read on for a day-by-day account of the sights, sounds, and experiences the festival had to offer.
The first official day of the 3 Days of Design festival, and we were 100% focused on visiting some of our favourite brands. Walking was our main mode of transport, thanks to Copenhagen’s flatness (how polite, right?) And if we were feeling lazy, they have a super-fast and reliable transit system, and bike friendly roads and paths everywhere. Needless to say, getting around was a joy.
The first stop: the famous ferm LIVING showroom. What was once a naval base (cannons and cannonballs included), the historic building had been transferred to house the brand’s offices and showing space. Meticulously detailed, and overwhelmingly beautiful, the showroom did not disappoint with its various contextual spaces that allowed each and every ferm LIVING product to shine.
FRAMA was next on the cards for Kat and Mat, with a visit to their St Paul’s Apothecary showroom and upstairs office. In typical FRAMA style, the space was a mix of the old and new, with a curated selection of the brand’s furniture, fragrances, skincare, and lighting displayed against the building’s original timber carvings and ceiling details.
Meanwhile, Christina dropped by the incredible show space of KRISTINA DAM STUDIO. The light-filled apartment was nothing short of breathtaking, and was styled with sculptural objects and architecturally inspired furniture. C was lucky enough to enjoy a preview of the studio’s soon-to-be released desk, an impressively refined structure made of solid oak and stainless steel, designed to be enjoyed from the the front and the back.
The final stop for the day was a visit to NEW WORKS, where their relaxed and dreamy space was exactly what our busy brains needed. The brand’s sophisticated range of lighting and furniture were exhibited throughout various rooms to create contextual settings. The highlight was definitely the cluster of ‘Tense’ pendants hung above the dining table. A truly jaw-dropping sight.
We took part in the 3 Days of Design VIP Tour, where we joined a global mix of photographers, architects, stylists, and buyers, on a guided journey of the festival.
Today was a big day.
After checking into the wondrous 25hours Hotel – which was a destination in itself, we where whisked away in a convoy of Teslas (electric cars are EVERYWHERE) to the DDcated designhub. The location, the museum of the Lapadarium of Kings, was completely unexpected but absolutely breathtaking. The two storey venue was showcased a number of contemporary Danish brands, including AYTM and STOFF NAGEL, against the museums collection of royal sculptures, natural stone figures, and plaster models. The juxtaposition of the old and the new was incredible, and really set the day off to a magnificent start.
We then journeyed to the ANKER & CO showroom (by boat), where we discovered a gorgeous collection of lighting pieces from a selection of international brands. This was followed by a trip to GUBI HQ – a breathtaking converted warehouse space that (stylishly) housed the brands newest collections in addition to their recognisable classics. The final pre-lunch stop was to DORNBRACHT, where we fell in love with their tap ware and bathroom fittings.
It was then a hop, skip, and a jump to our surprise lunch destination: the stunningly grand Danish Opera House. We were ushered to the top floor to be greeted by esteemed lighting designer, Tom Rosseau. His jaw-dropping work graced the dining space of the venue, and we were shocked to hear his pieces (which were completely bespoke) were conceptualised, manufactured, and installed within a 10 day deadline – talk about stressful work!
With bellies filled with smørresbrød (delicious open sandwiches), our final destination was the wonderland showroom of Helle Mardahl Studio. It’s hard to describe the showroom in words, so imagine Alice in Wonderland meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, morph that whimsical vision into one of a kind sculptural glass pieces, and you’ll understand the gist of the Helle Mardahl universe. It was a space filled with colour-blocked canisters, over-the-top cocktail glasses, and bold bubblegum pendants, which told a story of eccentric deviance and creative rebellion. It was an awe-inspiring space we’ll never forget.
The third and final (😭) day of the 3 Days of Design festival involved so much walking.
Like SO much walking. But it was absolutely worth every step along the city’s cobbled narrow paths.
We checked out of the 25hours Hotel (we’ll be back for sure) and hit up POSTER & FRAME – a print store with roots in Scandinavian design and the perfect example of no space is too small. The tiny showroom was filled with colourful gallery walls displaying a variety of the artists (the brand represents over 400) from around the world, each working in their own medium. Bold graphic prints blended beautifully with abstract paintings, and striking photographs, with richly coloured frames bringing a fun eclecticism to the space.
The second stop for the day was ASTEP – a contemporary design studio founded in 2014, with a focus on timeless lighting designs. The high ceilinged space was decorated with pendants and wall lamps of all varying shapes and sizes, with each as beautiful as the next. On display was a collaborative piece by Studio Ane Lykke, a large-scale lighting number made of timber, which merged grids with circles, allowing for altered perceptions and playful light moments.
This was followed by a trip to meet with LINIE DESIGN, who had displayed their texturally rich rugs in a gallery-like exhibit. This was then followed with a meet and greet with the Norwegian FORA FORM, a furniture brand focused on refined forms, comfort, and quality materiality. They graciously took us to lunch (more delicious smørresbrød) at the SEASIDE TOLDBODEN, a 7 kitchen food hall, with a gorgeous interior aesthetic – the blue stone tables were to die for!
After lunch with batteries recharged, we powered our way to the FRITZ HANSEN Pavilion, which had just won the best exhibition award. The space, a collaborative effort between FRITZ HANSEN and architecture studio HENNING LARSEN was an unmistakable showstopper, constructed from timber beams and what we think was rippled perspex. Featured inside the pavilion were the brands classics, new and old, styled in a mix of contextual settings (dining, office, and living) and gallery-like displays.
Next on our list of destinations was FRAMING, a curation of various Scandinavian brands set inside the Odd Fellow Palace. The space was atmospheric – palatial, you could say – and it was an experience viewing a selection of furniture, lighting, and accessories against such an historic backdrop.
Second last stop for the day was a surprising trip to the Embassy of Italy, which also played home to the Italian Ambassador. He’d graciously allowed his quarters to showcase a small curation of contemporary Italian brands and designers, which did not fail to impress. The highlight: a speckled terrazzo-inspired rug from fashion house Liu-Jo.
And last, but certainly not least, was a trip to the acclaimed HAY House showroom. The hype is real and very much worth the trip up the 4 flights of stairs. Inside their double storey space is literally EVERYTHING in the HAY catalogue – from furniture and lighting, right down to the their twisty candles and kitchen accessories. There was a room dedicated to cushions and textiles, and another filled with towels and robes. There was even a fort made entirely out of their iconic colour crates! Colour, pattern, texture, and playfulness reined supreme, and came together to create a space that was like no other.