It’s the Spring of design. Following a reinvigorated edition of Milan’s Salone del Mobile in April and a delightful return-to-form outing for New York’s ICFF in May — not to mention a landmark Venice Architecture Biennale — June is shaping up to be an equally memorable month. On June 12-14, NeoCon returns to Chicago, with a wealth of promising debuts already announced. And next week, the 10th edition of 3DaysofDesign comes to Copenhagen, adding another exciting stop to our busy 2023 calendar.
For designers and manufacturers across Scandinavia, Europe, and beyond, the annual fair has grown into a marquee event. This year, leading Danish brands including Fritz Hansen, HAY, Frederica, Normann Copenhagen, Carl Hansen & son and &tradition — to name just a few — will be launching their 2023 collections at 3DaysofDesign, underlining the capital city’s status as a global hub of design. Below, we preview six standout collections at this year’s show.
Founded in 2006, Germany’s Pulpo has established itself as a haven for up-and-coming talents, as well as an innovator in ceramics, stone and glass. This year, the residential brand tapped acclaimed designers Sebastian Herkner and Sylvain Willenz to each design a pair of new products.
All four are standouts, but Herkner’s Thales coffee table is a pure showstopper. Named for an ancient Greek philosopher, the glass design is available in two patterns — checks and stripes — and sizes, as well as three colourways. The play of light and shadow across the translucent surfaces brings each piece surprising depth and dimension, elevating the simple, rectilinear form into an understated statement piece.
Delicate and light yet assertive and assured, the Ensemble vases and decorative containers blend into the room while drawing attention. Designed by Britain’s Benjamin Hubert and LAYER for Sweden’s Orrefors, the modular collaboration marks the latter brand’s 125th anniversary with aplomb. A simple oval base of scalloped grooves and understated hues is topped by a wider rounded lid, allowing for a variety of uses.
The collection is available in three sizes — each with its own distinct colourway. A testament to both Hubert’s elegant restraint and Orrefors’ material honesty, Ensemble debuts at 3DaysofDesign and is set to become available in late 2023.
Already an award-winner ahead of its official debut, the Dawn Wall Lamp was recognized as the best lighting product in the television program Denmark’s Next Classic 2022 (that’s right, the Danes have TV shows about product design). Featuring two individually controlled sources of light, Bly Studio‘s ingenious design is ideally suited for the space above a bed, since each side can serve as a space-saving alternative to a bedside lamp.
Made with structured, PVC-coated washi paper and an oak beam, the form can be manually folded to adjust the angle of light, transforming the circular design into surprising new geometries. Combining Japanese design heritage with unfussy Danish ingenuity, the result is signature Motarasu.
What happens when acoustic specialists Abstracta join forces with art platform Wall of Art? You guessed it. Art and acoustics converge in an innovative collection of sound-absorbing acoustic panels that also showcase contemporary art. While it’s the type of crossover that easily threatens a descent into kitsch, the two Swedish brands have pulled it off in immaculate style.
Featuring 13 distinct motifs by four notable artists — Annika Hultgren, Evelina Kroon, Lucrecia Rey Caro, and Lisa Wirenfelt — the screens are printed on 45 millimetres of sound-absorbing fabric, which is made from cotton textile waste and polyester reclaimed from recycled PET bottles to ensure minimal environmental impact. Available in three sizes, the panels featuring handsome oak frames, and are well-suited for busy commercial environments, including restaurants, hotels, and co-working spaces.
“It looks simple, but it took a few years to complete,” admits designers and Massproductions co-founder Chris Martin. Indeed, while the Stockholm-based furniture company’s new Gridlock shelving system is a study in formal purity, achieving simplicity is no mean feat. It entailed “ensuring that all connections and details work, finding the right type of production, approving that the system can be easily assembled by customers and also accommodate features that will be added in the future.”
The result was worth it. The Gridlock systems shelves and side panels lock into place with a simple movement, creating a sense of order in any environment. True to the name, the shelves can be arranged in a variety of simple grids, with added elements set to be introduced in the coming years to ensure even greater flexiblity. Gridlock is available in three finishes — natural, white, and black-stained ash.
Combining a stately architectural presence with intricate handcrafted details, each Meter lamp is a statement piece in its own right. Designed by Danish duo Maria Bruun and Anne Dorthe Vester for Sweden’s Pholc, the floor and table lamps assert a captivating presence despite their limited heights. As the name suggests, the taller floor lamps are a metre high, while the smaller format — which can also be used as a table lamp — reaches just 50 centimetres.
Yet, the pieces speak volumes. “We wanted to create a new
interpretation of the classic rice paper lamp,” says Bruun. “A design sharing its lightness and softness but with a solid sculptural base. We explored contrasting materials to create a unique presence and sculptural reference.” Mission accomplished.
The Danish capital’s annual festival has evolved into a leading international design destination.