Art & design in Malmö and Copenhagen

Posted by Suzie on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 at 16:53
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I just got back from another Scandinavian trip, this time browsing the museums and design shops of Malmö and Copenhagen. There was so much inspiration it is difficult to squeeze it into a single post.

I am a bit fan of geometric patterns (as you might have guessed from the hexagon obsession) and saw a multitude of bold examples in the museums and galleries.

Itopias and Reality: Applied Arts and Design of the 20th Century exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Verner Pandon lampshade from Utopias and Reality: Applied Arts and Design of the 20th Century exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Pulsating System of Co-ordinates by Leif Bolter outside the Moderna Museet Malmö

‘Pulsating System of Co-ordinates’ by Leif Bolter outside the Moderna Museet Malmö


Folded paper lanterns from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Folded paper lanterns from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Woven textiles in the Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Woven textiles in the Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Machine knit cardigan at Form Design Centre Malmö

Machine knit cardigan at Form Design Centre Malmö


Hikari lamp by Rasmus Fenhann, from the Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Hikari lamp by Rasmus Fenhann, from the Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Woven tea towels from Hay

Woven tea towels from Hay


I made a pretty fine tea towel purchase in Hay house; geometrics and neon!

I also saw many inspiring examples of organic forms in pattern.

Fabric design by Arne Jacobsen, from Itopias and Reality: Applied Arts and Design of the 20th Century exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Fabric design by Arne Jacobsen, from Itopias and Reality: Applied Arts and Design of the 20th Century exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Open 1, 2 and 3 by Louise Campbell from the Mindcraft15 exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Open 1, 2 and 3 by Louise Campbell from the Mindcraft15 exhibition at Design Museum Denmark


Cloud-like shapes in Japanese hand embroidery , from the Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Cloud-like shapes in Japanese hand embroidery , from the Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Detail of architectural metal shuttering spotted in Copenhagen

Detail of architectural metal shuttering spotted in Copenhagen

Hand cut Japanese paper stencils for printing, from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Hand cut Japanese paper stencils for printing, from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark


There were some beautiful examples of innovative textile construction.

Lacquered copper thread incorporated into textile weaving, from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Lacquered copper thread incorporated into textile weaving, from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Folded fabric dress from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Folded fabric dress from Learning From Japan exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Japanese ikat weaving samples

Japanese ikat weaving samples


And plenty of that quirky Scandinavian style.

Foxes tapestry from Fashion & Fabric exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

Foxes tapestry from Fashion & Fabric exhibition at Design Museum Denmark

During the 20th century, Danish designers like Arne Jacobsen and my personal design hero, Verner Panton, created interior architecture for hotels, concert halls, public, private and commercial spaces with a meticulous approach to detail; designing every aspect of the space and every object within in, from the furniture and lighting to custom fabrics and sculptures, and even cutlery. I think this has a lot to do with contemporary attitudes to design in Scandinavia. It seems more central to the lifestyle (there’s a designer homewares shop on practically every corner in Copenhagen). Applied arts are regarded highly compared with the UK, which makes Sweden and Denmark such inspiring places to visit for anyone interested in crafts and making.

If you’re that there’s a lot of Japanese influence here among these, you’d be absolutely right. One of my highlights from the trip was the Learning from Japan exhibition at Design Museum Danmark; a display of objects and artwork showing the parallels between Japanese graphic and applied arts and Danish art and industrial design. Japanese themes were also evident in some of the delicate and meticulously created works on display at Malmo’s Form Design Centre.

Thanks Jovanna for showing me around.


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