Danish & Scandinavian Design

When I moved to Denmark in 1977, I came from a Germany deeply entrenched in brown, beige, corduroy and other weird pish. The brown and beige haven’t changed much, but the rest has improved somewhat throughout the last few decades, although not substantially. Still, moving to Scandinavia sharpened my eye for (especially) functional design and today you can find a lot of what probably falls squarely into that category in my household.

Life in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries (my parents later lived in Norway and Sweden for several years at a time) gave rise, from that point onwards, to a life-long passion for Danish & Scandinavian design, for functional design, which subsequently also began to dominate trips to other countries and cities. Whenever I returned to Denmark throughout the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, it was highly likely that one could find me either in a bookshop, a music store or … in various design departments of larger and smaller stores. In fact, I would say that I spent at least half of the entire time spent in Denmark, Sweden or Norway inside of either one of these three. Whenever I travel elsewhere, abroad or at home, I always seek out design shops, design museums and galleries, boutiques and markets that cater to the design aficionado in me.

On top of that, I have, unfortunately, been known to buy stuff simply because it looked nice, even if I didn’t really need it.


Grethe Meyer's "Blaakant" (discontinued).

Just today, and this was the inciting moment for this short post, I hunted around for the last remains of Grethe Meyer’s wonderful “Blåkant” dinnerware, which, who would have ever thought, was discontinued by Royal Copenhagen (bastards) in 2010.

I had no idea because I had put spending all that cash on one of the many back burners I keep around my place, but my immediate scrambling about and legendary Google wizardry unearthed a bunch of (reduced) stuff which I ordered right away.

Although I have probably accumulated enough these past three decades to last me until I drop dead, it is always a wise idea to buy into the leftovers now, especially since two recent interviews alerted me to the fact that the discontinuation of “Blåkant” has started to boost already steep prices even further. You see, the younger generation likes it as much as mine and generations before me did, so second-hand prices are going through the roof at the moment. Seen in that light, although sales figures might not have been as high as for other products, it seems more than strange that Royal Copenhagen discontinued the best product they ever put to market.

But all of this, Grethe Meyer and the other Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish designers and products, will have to wait for future inclusion here.

For now, I’m just happy that I could supplement my “Blåkant” with ten 24 cm (9 1/2 inch) deep plates, another 14cl (5 oz) cream jug, two sugar bowls and two sauce boats, albeit without lids. The latter, as usual, I will have to hunt around for those elsewhere, much like I have done for almost 30 years now.


Some links that might interest you:

  1. Illums in Copenhagen, Denmark (website): Illums
  2. Royal Copenhagen Porcelain (website): Royal Copenhagen
  3. Grethe Meyer (Danish article from “Berlingske”): Grethe Meyer

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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