Early this past summer I studied abroad in Scandinavia, focusing on the design and construction of furniture. Out of the seven weeks the program spanned, six of them were spend living and studying in Copenhagen, with a week long tour of Sweden and Finland. I was able to experience first-hand architectural spaces made by modernist architects like Vilhelm Wolhert, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Gunnar Asplund, and Eliel Saarinen. On a smaller scale, we were able to visit showrooms, museums, workshops, and factories featuring the furniture designs of Hans Wegner, Eero Aarnio, Børge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Bruno Mattheson, and Kaare Klint, in addition to many of the architects previously listed. The attention to detail, respect for materiality, and embrace of functionalist design principals have stuck with me since and continue to strongly inform my own approach to designing spaces. It was evident in the day-to-day life here how crucial quality design was on all scales. It reflected the very way that the culture manifested itself. The timelessness, the efficiency, and the craftsmanship were simple a part of how one moved through the day, interacting with each other and the objects of the built environment. The images below reflect only a small portion of what I saw and experienced abroad.
Dylan Tibbetts, Design Assistant