Sustainability is in our DNA

Museum director Anne-Louise Sommer at the newly renovated Designmuseum Danmark believes that sustainability is in the DNA of Danish design and has been for decades.

Luka Hesselberg
Luka Hesselberg
Luka Hesselberg

Sustainability is in our DNA

Museum director Anne-Louise Sommer at the newly renovated Designmuseum Danmark believes that sustainability is in the DNA of Danish design and has been for decades.

According to her, we are all connected in complex "ecosystems" where our actions mutually leave an impression and affect the lives of others. Finally, she reveals her top five favourites from the museum collection.

In 2022, you opened the newly renovated Designmuseum Danmark. What has been the most positive experience? Are there any negative?

- The most positive experience has without question been the great reception of and interest in the reopened museum from our visitors. We not only reopened a listed building restored to peak architectural form - we had also reconsidered and reinvented our exhibitions and our educational formats quite radically. And to see the positive response of all our efforts has truly been fantastic. There hasn't been any very negative experiences - but I can say that after two years of being closed due to the renovation and the corona pandemic, it has taken us some time to adjust to the daily life of an open museum ful of wonderful guests - but we wouldn't have it any other way!

Sustainability has been a keyword for many participants in 3daysofdesign. How is this reflected in the design museum's collections?

- Sustainability is definitely an important keyword for us at Designmuseum Danmark. Danish design is characterized by sustainability in its very DNA. Good materials, good craftsmanship, and a timeless aesthetics that make the design long-lasting. This is clearly seen in the 'Danish modern' furniture movement of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, which was very successful al over the world - and still is. It is in fact the most important dimension in 'sustainability' - that things last and last and last, which brings up another important keyword for us: good craftsmanship.

Is it possible to choose some items today that will be a part of an exhibition in 2030? What would they be?

- It is always difficult to predict the future, but I see two trends: firstly, I believe that the Danish design legacy, or the Danish modern tradition, will always be of interest and be included in our exhibition program. Like in the 2023 exhibition 'The Magic of Form'. Our design legacy teaches us so much about our past and makes us wiser about the present and the future. I also believe that many of the projects we exhibit in the current exhibition 'The Future in Present' that runs to the end of 2024 will perhaps be included in a 2030 exhibition, but in a context where they no longer represent the future of design but have become "contemporary design" - maybe even mainstream, but in a good way.

The next question is a difficult one, but what are your personal favorite design object(s) in the museum?

- All five highlights are currently exhibited - and yes, it is very difficult to choose just five out of the rich treasure that our collection and exhibitions make up. Some of my personal favorites are:

1. Our collection of Japanese sword mountings from the 1700s (the so-called tsubas). We are all connected in complex "ecosystems", where our actions mutually leave an impression and affect the lives of others.

2. A piece of textile by Danish textile designer Marie Gudme Leth called 'Tree pattern' from 1937.

3. Grete Jalk's 'Lounge chair' from 1963.

4. Katrine Barbro Bendixen's spectacular lamp called 'Inside/Out' (made from cow instestines) from 2019.

5. The giant 3D printed portal 'Soft Structures no. '5 by Studio Mikkel Nielsen, currently on display in our exhibition 'The Future is Present’.

Sustainable Design Effort
At 3daysofdesign, our commitment extends beyond showcasing the latest trends in interior design and furniture. We strive to facilitate meaningful discussions, debate, and actively contribute to pushing forward a more sustainable approach within the realm of interior design and furniture business. Join us in our mission to inspire positive change and promote a greener, more responsible future for the industry.

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Since its inception in 2013, Signe Byrdal Terenziani has facilitated the growth of the design community in her role as Managing Director. It all began as a small design event held in an old warehouse in Nordhavn, a harbour area overlooking Copenhagen’s waterfront. Four Danish brands launched the event as a joint initiative: Montana, Erik Jørgensen (now owned by Fredericia Furniture), Anker & Co, and Kvadrat. At that time, Copenhagen lacked a proper design festival, since the previous annual furniture fair at Bella Center closed down some years before.

Today, the 3daysofdesign festival extends to the entire city of Copenhagen and is considered the most significant annual design festival in Scandinavia.

Each year since its inception, 3daysofdesign has grown in popularity exponentially. In 2023, over 250 brands exhibited at the festival, where visitors could choose from as many as 500 events to attend in various design districts across Copenhagen, such as design talks, networking events, etc.

3daysofdesign takes place every year in Copenhagen mainly during the second week of June from Wednesday to Friday. In 2025 the festival will be held from 4 - 6 June.

Pack your bags, book a hotel and come to Copenhagen! 3daysofdesign is open to the general public and everyone is invited to visit the showrooms, exhibitions, workshops and design talks. All events are free of charge – however this his year we're using a new QR ticket system to make your experience smoother and more enjoyable. Simply download our app and register as a visitor to gain access to all the exhibition spaces and events.

Please check the programme, which is updated on an ongoing basis, at

You can look forward to seeing cutting-edge concepts from new and established names in lifestyle, design, furniture and interior design. Get a preview of new product launches. Learn about upcoming trends on the horizon. Meet the players behind forward-thinking ideas worth knowing. And network with like-minded people with a passion for design.

It's easy to get around in Copenhagen.

Rent a bike, jump on the bus or metro, catch a boat or simply walk from venue to venue. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the architecture, restaurants, cafes, shops and Copenhagen's relaxed vibe by day and vibrant night life.

Absolutely! Don't forget to download our app on your Android or iPhone. It provides a comprehensive view of all the festival events, including a complete list of exhibitions along with their locations on our interactive 3daysofdesign map. Plus, we're excited to introduce a new QR ticket system this year for easy access to everything the festival has to offer.

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