February 1, 2010
The birthplace of Wegner, Jacobsen, and Kjærholm is still a force in design.
Danes are the happiest people in the world, according to a report last year by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and we can’t help thinking that (accessible social services aside) the country’s reverence for design might have something to do with it. Midcentury masters such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, and Poul Kjærholm established Denmark as a design force, producing enduring classics that married modern forms to exquisite craft. Half a century later, Danish manufacturers and successive generations of designers remain committed to creating well-made products in environmentally responsible ways. Even the government has gotten into the act, launching its first international design week in Copenhagen, which was the kickoff for traveling exhibitions like Copenhagen Showhow and It’s a Small World that showcase socially minded design and sustainable practices.
Here we present a dozen versatile products, from a craftsy toy rocker to an award-winning coatrack-cum-wall-sculpture, that we think will be standouts in any environment.