Tuesday, 2 February 2010

It's a Small World

Showing in the Danish Design Centre on Copenhagen's Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard until the 22nd March, It's a Small World is an exhibition exploring four contemporary concerns in design, architecture and craft: Sustainability, Human Scale, New Craftsmanship and Non-Standardised Praxis. What all that boils down to is work that represents the changing face of Danish design, something that has had quite a consistent public face until now. It also aims to showcase Danish design's increasing international relevance, as much of the exhibits deal with global design concerns. Work from designers and such as Louise Campbell and Cecilie Manz, craftspeople such as Astrid Krogh and architects such as Lundgaard and Tranberg (you may remember them from such posts as "skuespilhuset" below - in fact their exhibit's all about the coolest playhouse ever) and Bjarke Ingels Group (and many more, I just wont list them all) features to show some of the innovation, ambition, relevance and critical edge present in Danish design today. The exhibition itself is beautifully designed (but then I would say that - it's completely my aesthetic, with crisp white triangulated armatures to display all the exhibits) and documented, and it is well worth seeing, either now in Denmark, or later on its international tour.

Though I was familiar with the practice, I didn't know an awful lot about architects Bjarke Ingels Group - BIG - until It's a Small World, where they presented "Seven ways to change engineering without using an engine". Their exhibit consisted of seven
videos explaining seven of their innovative projects. The two below are about their ZigZag building set to be built in Rødovre, Denmark and their Escher Tower, an ongoing project in Copenhagen. I'd explain their designs, but Bjarke himself does a much better job:

(Bjarke Ingels on "Høj - Rødovre Tower")

(Bjarke Ingels on "ECH - Escher Tower")