There couldn’t be a more appropriate setting for an exhibition celebrating Danish design than Sydney’s Opera House.
Danish Design at the House, coinciding with the Opera House’s 40th anniversary, will occupy the six large concrete bay windows of the Western Foyer, which overlook the postcard view of the Harbour Bridge.
The installation, curated by Terroir director Gerard Reinmuth and Karen Kjaergaard, celebrates the best of established and emerging Danish design, from furniture to fashion. Exhibitors include iconic Danish brands Lego and Bang & Olufsen.[fold]
The key tenets of Danish design, which developed during the mid-twentieth century, are the triumvirate of “quality, simplicity and functionality,” says Michael T. Hansen, Danish Trade Commissioner and the Danish Consul-General.
Also important are “the choice of material, craftsmanship, a pragmatic approach to design and high expertise in technology,” he says. “The mentality of buying high quality, long lasting design products versus [those with a] short lifecycle of design and quality is very strong” in Denmark.
The popularity of Danish culture around the world is at a peak, from highly sought after minimalist Scandinavian interiors, to chef René Redzepi’s Noma, one of the world’s best and most innovative restaurants, located in Copenhagen.
Sydney’s Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, is itself a celebrated example of Danish design. While it opened in 1973, Utzon started on plans for the project as early as 1955 when he won the commission via a design competition. A controversial project initially, the Opera House is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most significant pieces of architecture, and attracts over 7 million visitors each year.
Hansen says that in Denmark there is a lot of pride at the nation’s connection to such an iconic building, especially as a site “where collaboration between Denmark and Australia has and will continue into the next generation of design and architecture,” he enthuses.
Danish Design at the House, October 25 to November 10.
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