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What are the proposals for the future of Danish design?

During Copenhagen's '3 Days of Design 2021', brands have 'approached' a more active type of customer.

After months of restrictions due to the pandemic, a stroll through Copenhagen has clarified that happiness and optimism have dominated this edition of the '3 Days of Design' held from September 16 to 18, 2021.

In total, more than 200 companies and different organizations have opened their doors, inviting them to discover the great news of the Danish design scene. From the editorial staff of Houzz, we have sought an answer to a big question: How will Danish design evolve after covid-19?

By broad, perhaps the question may seem simple, but the answers are numerous and complex. Industry leaders view the future of design with much optimism, but what have we learned during the pandemic? In general, we have to shun fads, go for the classics, for long-lasting pieces, and, of course, for a new generation of responsible consumers committed to values such as sustainability.

Wishbone chairs by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Son. Classic and timeless wooden furniture was the main focus of the 2021 edition of '3 Days of Design'.

Beautiful pieces and, above all, ones that will last beyond

fashion publisher Carl Hansen & Son, which produces the Wishbone

the chair has noticed a significant increase in sales since the pandemic began, notes Knud Erik Hansen, CEO and grandson of the founder.

"Tucked indoors during quarantines, often doing nothing, some people have realized that it was time to renovate the interior of their home. In our case, the increased focus on issues such as sustainability makes our products very attractive to the consumer," says Hansen, adding that the company has noticed this trend in markets beyond Scandinavia.

"We sell classic furniture that will remain beautiful over time and often becomes even more beautiful because it acquires a natural patina," Hansen says.

On the other hand, Hansen also comments that if you want to buy new chairs and keep them for many years, you should keep in mind that "if there is already a comfortable and beautiful chair on the market that has stood the test of time for more than 50 years... why shouldn't it continue to do so for decades to come?" In his opinion, that's why the Wishbone

the chair has been so popular during the pandemic around the world.

The Series 7 chair, by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen. This year we have seen many classic upholstered chairs, a trend that is not new.

Classic chairs, but much more comfortable.

Fritz Hansen, the Danish furniture manufacturer, primarily known for producing such Arne Jacobsen icons as the Swan, Egg, and Series 7 chairs, also believes that demand for quality products has increased during the pandemic.

"We are experiencing a boom in sales of our products to individuals who want them for their homes. Many are not only investing in high-quality furniture but are going the extra mile by purchasing more exclusive and luxurious versions of products that are already of very good quality," says Christian Andresen, Design and Brand Ambassador for Fritz Hansen.

"For example, when buying a Series 7 chair, customers are now opting for the leather-upholstered version instead of the wood-only version. A wooden chair is fine and comfortable for a couple of hours, but it's worth upgrading if you spend many hours sitting in it. I think this kind of demand, which is global, will continue in the future," says Andresen.

Eilersen's comfortable and timeless Great Pampas sofa appeals to all generations.

A mature design for a younger demographic in

general, spending more time at home, whether enjoying time with the family or working from home, is in line with the core values of Danish design: functionality, timelessness, and quality.

Eilersen, the Danish sofa manufacturer, has experienced an increase in demand for its exclusive products among an increasingly younger audience. "Our target group is people over 35, but during the pandemic, more and more young people have bought our products," says co-owner Nils Eilersen.

"Of course, this is related to the fact that they have not been able to spend on travel, for example. But we believe that it also indicates a change in mentality in all age groups and that the fad for fast and cheaper consumption is disappearing."

The company recently launched the Take your time campaign to emphasize the importance of this change in consumption.

"We want to encourage people to take their time with everything and spend more time at home, whether it's enjoying our products or others. If we want to solve some of the most pressing problems we face, the only way forward is to think, slow down the speed at which we do many things, and stop consuming useless objects that don't bring joy or satisfaction," says Eilersen.

Rhombe Color collection by design duo Stilleben for Lyngby Porcelæn, a Rosendahl Design Group company. Colorful tableware transforms food into something much more special.

Food as an essential (and well-designed) meeting point.

The pandemic has created a new economy called the 'home economy,' which makes how we live more important than where we live, explains Kristina Kousgaard Sørensen, director of public relations and communications at Rosendahl Design Group.

"After almost two years of living with covid-19, what matters to us are issues such as proximity and togetherness with the people we care about. As a result, responsible value-based

decisions, and here craftsmanship has a lot to say, are important when choosing home design and interiors," she says.

HAY opened its doors to give the public an idea of the many ways in which tableware can be combined to personalize the dining table.

At the same time, many routines have become increasingly important, and their importance will continue to grow, Rosendahl Design Group predicts. "For example, meals held at home have become much more important. Now that it is possible to get together again, we believe that quality tabletop design will play an even more important role in the future, as it allows us to personalize the style of the table and add value to life around the meal," says Kousgaard Sørensen.

Responsible refurbishment and recycling

Jesper Panduro, CEO of furniture manufacturer Skagerak, says he has noticed how environmental awareness and a sense of responsibility have grown among consumers during the pandemic.

"A few years ago, we launched the Re-Classic

the initiative, where we repurchased Skagerak products, refurbished them, and resold them to other customers interested in them. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a huge increase in demand for these types of items," he says.

Bang & Olufsen has also introduced solutions for refurbishing old products. For example, the Danish audio equipment manufacturer recently launched an upgrade kit for its 1970 series turntables.

Panduro believes that this love for secondhand items is a temporary trend and will last into the future. "When I look at my teenagers at home and the way they combine their closet, it's a great mix of novelties and vintage clothing. I'm sure this is the way future generations will furnish their homes," he says.

Royal Copenhagen showed how well antique porcelain could be combined with new products.

Sustainability... on one, on two... awarded!

Lauritz.com, Northern Europe

's leading auction house confirms the growing interest in vintage furniture and decoration in general.

"It is difficult to provide a single reason as to why this shift in the design market. But there is no doubt that the impact of covid-19 has made us see our home as a haven, a safe place. We believe that this aspect, in combination with a growing interest in recycling and sustainability, will define the near future," says Mette Rode Sundstrøm, CEO of Lauritz.com.

"Until now, people who bought at auctions did so for the aesthetics, history, or quality of the objects. However, we are now seeing a whole new generation of customers, for whom sustainability is the main reason they bid for an object," continues Rode Sundstrøm. In the expert's opinion, this new generation "wants to contribute to protecting the planet and to getting rid of the habit of buying things to use and throw away".

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