Core Course Week & Field Study: The Danish Design Museum

This week is a special week at DIS. It is Core Course Week! Which means we only have our main core course and take a 3 day study tour with faculty to Western Denmark. But before you leave for the trip you have two field studies with your core course.

For my first field study tour I went to the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen. Before going I had heard great things and seen some really cool pictures of a chair exhibit. This is a really cool museum that is a must see for all design students. While I was there I visited the following exhibitions; I Am Black Velvet, Danish Design Now, and The Danish Chair: An International Affair.

Here are some fun facts that I have learned from the exhbits:

I Am Black Velvet: Erick Mortensen – Haute Couture

  1. Haute Couture fashion is defined as high end fashion that is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, expensive, and often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail.
  2. There are very specific requirements that need to be met in order to qualify as an official Haute Coutrue House: members must design made-to-order clothes for private clients, with more than one fitting, using an atelier (workshop) that employs at least fifteen full time staff. They must also have twenty full time technical workers in one of their workshops. Finally, Haute Couture houses must present a collection of no less than 50 original designs — both day and evening garments — to the public every season, in January and July.
  3. Haute Coutrue is warranted as the fashion field that comes the closest to artistic expression
Erick Mortensen Sketches

The Danish Chair: An International Affair

  1. A chair is defined as a structure that can support a body 42 cm above the ground.
  2. Denmark became world famous for its many takes on modern chairs in the 20th century.
  3. All of the chairs in the exhibit draw inspiration from two chairs. Professor Kaare Klint, the founder of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine arts, suggested that a designer should base their design on tried and tested historical types of chairs, then refine and adapt them to the current age.
  4. When standing in the middle of the Danish Chair exhibit one can view three chairs at a time at the same angle due to how the chairs are positioned.
  5. All of the chairs in the exhibit can be sorted into 10 types of chairs: Folding chairs & Stools, Easy, Windsor, Chippendale, Shaker , Chinese & Steambent, Round Arm & Klimos , Shell, and Cantilever.
IMG_7921 (1).JPG
The Danish Chair: An International Affair

Danish Design Now

  1. Danes have designed a lot.
  2. Industrial design, furniture and aesthetic objects have always been some of Denmark’s biggest exports.
  3. Modern design is part of the Danes’ national identity and daily life.

Overall I had a great time at this museum because not only were the exhibitions great but it was linked to what I was learning in my core course. Our current project is to design a small exhibition for furniture. I was able to think about my studio project in real life, outside of the classroom. Which DIS loves to promote and talk about. But it’s one thing to read or be told about, its an entirely different thing to experience.

I was able to look critically at the exhibits and draw inspiration from them. The exhibits became a real life precedent study for my project. My favorite was the I Am Black Velvet exhibit which is about designer Erick Mortensen’s Haute Couture fashion career. The curator did a great job of explaining what goes into haute couture fashion and why should someone care.

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