Explore Danish Design at Nordic Cool 2013

Nordic Cool 2013
The Kennedy Center (Washington, USA)
Nordic Design Illustrated: February 20 - March 17 2013, North Gallery

From February 20 till March 17, the exhibition Nordic Design Illustrated will showcase some of the most innovative and acclaimed Danish and Scandinavian designers. The exhibition is part of Nordic Cool 2013, The Kennedy Center’smonth-long Nordic culture festival. Among the exhibited are Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen, Komplot for HAY, Ole Jensen for Normann Copenhagen and fashion designer Henrik Vibskov. A forum discussion will explore impact of design in our everyday lives, and children and their grown-ups are invited to play with the iconic Danish LEGO toy bricks. On occasion, The Kennedy Center Gift Shop will transform into a Nordic Boutique, selling Danish design items for a limited period.

Nordic Design Illustrated presents a range of design, craft, and industrial products from throughout the Nordic region. The exhibition focuses on craftsmanship and the relationship of Nordic design to nature, technology, and heritage by showing works from close to 30 designers. The history of Nordic design is that of strength and rebellion, and historical overtones and appreciation of heritage strongly color today's Nordic design. Technological innovations, truth to materials, and functionalism in Nordic design has its roots in the early 20th century modernism and Bauhaus. Nordic contemporary design is still affected, and rooted in, the modernistic ideal of design working to improve people's everyday life by making it more functional, more beautiful, and simpler.

Nordic Design Illustrated includes 13 Danish designers: Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen and Moment, Komplot for HAY and Gubi, Ole Jensen for Normann Copenhagen,  Hans Sandgren Jakobsen for Fredericia Furniture, Lars Pedersen for trioBike, Louise Campbell for Erik Jørgensen and Zanotta, Stefan Borselu and Fredrik Mattsson for Blå Station and fashion designer Henrik Vibskov. Through Nordic Cool 2013, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Gallery will become the Cool Club, an extension of the exhibition, which will feature the iconic Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs.

Nordic Design Illustrated is free and takes place during the whole festival February 20 – March 1 at 10:00am – 9:00pm in the North Atrium Foyer.

Forum: Living by Design: A Holistic Approach to Everything
How does design impact every aspect of our daily lives? This discussion on contemporary Nordic design tackles issues such as trends and influences; philosophies underlying practice; differences in national, regional, and global markets, as well as production challenges in fashion, home, and industry.

Moderated by Judith Gura, Director of the Design History Program at New York Institute of Interior Design, this panel includes Mårten Claesson of Claesson Koivisto Rune in Sweden, Guðrun Rógvadóttir of Guðrun & Guðrun in the Faroe Islands, and Johan Olin and Aamu Song, co-founders of Finnish design practice COMPANY.

Guðrun Rógvadóttir is a co-owner and Manager of Guðrun & Guðrun, an internationally renowned designer knitwear shop in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, alongside designer GuðrunLudvig. They opened Guðrun & Guðrun with the idea of selling fashionable and sustainable knitwear created using traditional Faroese knitting techniques. The clothing sold is hand-knit by local women following Guðrun Ludvig's designs, and all materials used are sustainable. Rógvadóttir co-authored a book with Ludvig titled Slow Clothing (2009), detailing their practices and discussing the importance of sustainable and responsible clothing.

Living by Design: A Holistic Approach to Everything is free and takes place February 26 at 7:00pm in the Terrace Gallery.

Iconic LEGO toy bricks at display
Nordic Cool 2013 also inviteschildren and their grown-ups to play with LEGO, the world-famous Danish toy bricks. LEGO will be part of the children’s space, and The Kennedy Center will furthermore erect two large LEGO murals.LEGO was founded in Billund, a small town in Denmark, by carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen in the 1930’s, and have since become an iconic brand across the world. The company of LEGO today remains owned by the Kirk Christiansen family, and is the world’s third largest manufacturer of play materials.

LEGO Exhibit and Play Space is free and takes place during the whole festival February 20 – March 17 at 10:00am – 9:00pm in the Nations Gallery.

Nordic Cool 2013 is a Nordic cultural festival in Washington. Nordic Cool 2013 is presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in co-operation with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic embassies in Washington, as well as the national cultural agencies in the respective Nordic countries, as well as Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands.

For accreditation to events during Nordic Cool 2013 contact Amanda E. Hunter, Senior Press Representative
The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts.
202.416.8441 (direct)

202.437.2010 (mobile) 

Sune Blicher

Senior Advisor, Danish Agency for Culture
Phone:  +45 3374 4500 / M. +45 3374 4562
Email: sub@kulturstyrelsen.dk

Pernille Florin Elbech
Senior Advisor, Public Diplomacy and Press
Phone:+1 (202) 797-5362
E-mail: perelb@um.dk