A nice long weekend in Copenhagen gave forth enough interesting shops and things to look at to satisfy even me. A lovely light and shiny monolithic new building down by the water. A beautifully situated art gallery showing a great Manga exhibition. And lots of wooden monkeys.
They have a Culture Night in October, sort of like Londons Open House Weekend but over one night. It seemed a lot more people – certainly a lot more children, took part over there. Making your own stamps in the Postal Museum was sadly cool and a stroll through the Museum of Applied Arts at 11.30 at night sadly exciting. Especially the beautiful wooden toys by Kay Bojesen – he of the ubiquitous hanging wooden monkey – and some cracking mid-century posters.
Of the bigger shops, I felt like Mary Portas in the Illum department store, exclaiming over the amazing space. And the merchandise; dripping with design porn for the needy. Many of the high street brands in Copenhagen are those which can be seen everywhere. But the intactness of the shop and building facades, and curling street layouts give it all a different feel and a feeling of different-ness.
Some nice window displays in the shops too, making strolling enjoyable and shopping more of an aesthetic and cultural experience for me. The image here is of a simple vinyl graphic on the Italian Kartell furniture shop window. The design is nothing radical but it is clean, colourful…happy. It certainly outshone the nasty plastic furniture in the shop itself, which all looked very garish indeed contrasted with your Finn Juhl and Danish minimalism.
Not sure what happened to Kartell; the company has nice pieces in its archive. But today its output is all Philip Stark bubble gum shiny. The shops themselves look like some sort of design-tarts’ boudoir. And not in a good way.