With the words “Danish” and “design”often being uttered in the same breath, it comes to no surprise that Copenhagen and its three-day festival has established itself as a darling of the international design scene. Held in Denmark annually, 3 Days of Design is a design festival for professionals and design enthusiasts alike.
3 Days of Design has its roots in an old warehouse in Nordhavn, where it started as a joint initiative by four local brands: Montana, Erik Jørgensen, Anker & Co, and Kvadrat. In 2013, 3 Days of Design premiered, initially as a platform for these brands and an opportunity for them to invite guests into their world.
Kay Litzinger from Scandinavia Standard caught up with Signe Terenziani, managing director of 3 Days of Design, to learn more about the history and significance of the event.
Having lived and worked in Milan – where the design week Salone del Mobile takes place all over the city – for several years, Signe felt that it was a pity not to invite other showrooms to participate. In the evenings, at home in the kitchen with friends, she planned the first expanded edition – 3 Days of Design 2014.
It was, what Signe calls the three-day run “con amore project”. All participating brands contributed in the way they could; some with money, some by inviting journalists. This sense of collaboration was new for many in the industry. Signe remembers that it was also part of her tasks to create a feeling of togetherness and to help people understand that it is okay to share.
The new concept was a success and since then the event has grown to around 200 exhibitors today. While the majority are Scandinavian, the list of participating brands also includes brands from outside of the region. The philosophy behind the organization of 3 Days of Design has remained the same, just with more professional processes: Each company now must pay a fee to participate, but the fee is based on income, so smaller brands and larger brands receive the same level of visibility.
3 Days of Design is a nonprofit organization and creates the framework for exhibitors to work around. This includes producing catalogs, managing press, and arranging tours. Brands can participate in various ways, including traditional methods like product launches, design talks, exhibitions, or installations, but social gatherings, like wine tastings and dinners, are also an important part of the event.
Signe emphasizes that it’s not just a fair:
“This is the time to get to know the designers, the craftsmen, the passionate people behind the brand, and to learn about the hard work behind the product and why you should surround yourself with objects, what they mean to you.”
Visitors get the chance to go behind the scenes and to enter the actual showrooms or offices of the brands, places that are not usually open to the public. It is this opportunity for personal exchange, to engage in storytelling, and inspiration that is at the heart of the event.
It’s also part of the selection process for the brands shown at 3 Days of Design: “It’s important to us that each exhibitor has a story, makes an effort to show its values, and creates an experience for the visitors.”
Interested in joining? Here’s a helpful guide to 3 Days of Design:
WHEN DOES 3 DAYS OF DESIGN TAKE PLACE?
Usually in Spring, around late May. However, this year’s edition has been postponed due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO AT 3 DAYS OF DESIGN?
3 Days of Design offers a wide range of experiences that let visitors look behind the scenes of the design industry. Join for inspiring exhibitions and talks, meet the people behind the world-famous design houses, and raise a glass at one of the social gatherings, there’s something for everyone.
DO I NEED A TICKET TO ATTEND 3 DAYS OF DESIGN?
Tickets for 3 Days of Design cost 100 DKK. The ticket gives you access to events on all festival days and includes a free boat and bus shuttle service. This year, the festival won’t be able to offer transportation due to preventive measures in regards to the spread of COVID-19, so the team decided to make participation free for visitors. In 2021, the event will return to its usual format.
HOW CAN I PLAN MY VISIT TO 3 DAYS OF DESIGN?
Create your personal program with the 3 Days of Design app.
Article written by Kay Litzinger for Scandinavia Standard