The Danish Museum of Design

The Danish Museum of Design was established 125 years ago, in 1890 It is a major source of information and study materials for students of design in Denmark.

The current exhibitions is called LEARNING FROM JAPAN.


From the beginning Danish designers appear to have been influenced by Japanese design. The minimalist nature of Japanese design appealed to the Danes. They have always been renowned for their clean lines and simple design. The muted colour palette of the Japanese was also a strong influence. Earth colours were strong in both traditions. When the Japanese introduced motifs like waves the Danes followed with their own interpretations of waves. Shape for ceramics was also another strong influence.

But the Danes also evolved their own style.

There was also a large selection of modern Danish design. This exhibition presented furniture, utensils and many posters. Throughout the ages simplicity has always been the strongest influence. I noted an early radio, which was a white plastic cube with the ‘dials’ in a horizontal, rather than round, position. Chairs were always simple. Recent Danish design is heavily influenced by ecological sensitivity. Pieces of furniture are created from recycled material. One moulded chair caught my eye. It was made from recycled fibre and moulded into a chair shape. The result is an already upholstered chair. Recycled newspaper was cleverly moulded also into a chair.

I found the posters fascinating. There were many for concerts but also publicity posters. The design was, in general, quite geometric and almost always simple. Colours were kept minimal and straightforward.