Denmark has played a large role in the development of Scandinavian design focusing mostly on the simplicity and functionality of their designs. With widespread globalization, Danish influence can be seen in Ikea products, kitchen wares, audio, lighting, furniture, and even in the Sydney Opera House. The largest surge in modern Danish design came post World War 2 in the 1940’s and 1950’s. During this time, some of the most iconic Danish brands exploded, including Bodum, Louis Poulsen, Fritz Hansen, and Bang & Olufsen audio.
Typically, Danish design focuses on a simple and clean design alongside the functionality of it’s designs. A good example of this is Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 chair, the most copied chair in the world, which is simply a solid sheet of plywood bent to shape with polished steel legs. It’s easy to manufacture with very few parts, and it’s beauty comes from it’s minimalistic design. Along with the 7 series chair, Jacobsen designed the iconic Egg chair.
Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair
Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair
Designer Poul Henningsen along with Louis Poulsen designed the PH series lamps, the iconic artichoke lamp, and a personal favorite, the snowball lamp. These lights aim to diffuse light in a unique way that manages to avoid glare. Many modern scandinavian lighting fixtures are variations of these, some using opaque plastic in intricate weaves in order to produce a soft light.
Poul Henningsen’s PH 5+ Lamp
Louis Poulsen’s Artichoke Lamp
Poul Henningsen’s Snowball Lamp
The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia is designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and is another example of the Danish aesthetic. The building parallels the design of the Louis Poulsen lamps with it’s white “shell” exterior. It uses relatively simple geometric shapes and lines to create a deceptively unique and clean looking building that has managed to become a defining image of Australia.
Sydney Opera House
More examples of Danish design: