What, When, Where: Danish Design

July 23, 2012

By Lisa E. Harrison

Having just returned from a whirlwind week in Copenhagen, I’ve got Danish design on the brain. Truth be told, my trip was food focused, a pilgrimage to attend the MAD Symposium, a two-day conference featuring some of the world’s best chefs and food scholars. We listened. We ate. We toured. And we promptly fell in love with a city so aesthetically at the top of its game–form, function and flavor-wise.

With Noma currently considered the number-one restaurant in the world, new Nordic cuisine is experiencing a popularity spike of epic proportions. It’s a style of cooking that New York Times writer Julia Moskin called “earthy and refined, ancient and modern, both playful and deeply serious.†The same could be said for Danish design–especially, we noticed, when it came to the city’s hottest restaurants. Everywhere thoughtful, calculated decisions: The perfect chair for a four-hour meal. Lighting that magically makes your companion glow. Awesome red stools that beckon even hardcore wine drinkers to a beer bar. Our favorite by far, though? The simple, compact tables at Restaurant Relae that sport a clever drawer to each diner’s right holding all the flatware needed for the evening. Diners reset their own tables–choosing whether they favor a fork or spoon–for each dish.

Back home, my appetite stoked for all things clean, modern, stripped down, I chatted with Travis Tyler from Addo Novo, in Boston. It’s an aesthetic, he says, that hasn’t waned in popularity. Though it’s hard to tell if the spotlight on new Nordic cuisine has led to a renewed interest in Danish furniture, Tyler attributes its lasting appeal to a couple of factors: it’s ideal for small spaces, and it can be incorporated into multiple aesthetics, from the ultra modern loft to the stately brownstone. Here are a few chairs on my wish list:

I’m absolutely smitten by the new miniscule chair, a collaboration between Danish designer Cecilie Manz and the Republic of Fritz Hansen. The chair is featured in the current issue of New England Home.

Photo courtesy of Fritz Hansen

Addo Novo recently signed on with Carl Hansen and will be showcasing favorites, like the Shell Chair, in the coming months.

Photo courtesy of Addo Novo

The PK 22 from Fritz Hansen is part of a popular series dedicated to Poul Kjaerholm’s work.

Photo courtesy of Fritz Hansen

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