Online Danish culture course - autumn 2021

Danish Design

An international fully online course (BA-level, 15 ECTS) at the University of Copenhagen.

Application deadline:
Fee paying guest students: 1 August 2021.
Exchange students enrolled at UCPH: 7 October 2021.

About the course
See the course catalogue

Twins in high chairs

ND54 Children’s High Chair, 1955. Designers: Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel. Current Manufacturers: Carl Hansen & Søn. Photo: Keld Helmer-Petersen, 1959. Photo portrays twins Lulu & Vita Ditzel.

This course provides a survey of Danish design, concentrating foremost on the post-war era (approx. 1945-1960s). It concentrates on a design tradition world renowned for, amongst other things, high-quality craftsmanship, functionality, humanism, contextualism, simplicity, comprehensiveness, and a creative continuity between tradition and renewal. Design is never merely a question of beautiful forms and surfaces, and therefore this course will purposefully explore below the surface. It examines wider issues of ethics and aesthetics, as exemplified in designs for the Welfare State. The course lectures present in-depth examinations into a diversity of design fields and design culture movements in order to reveal the essential considerations and contexts shaping some of the most successful Danish designs. Material designs ranging in scale “from the spoon to the city”, as well as immaterial designs, shall be probed and discussed in relation to their socio-cultural, political, economic, and technical contexts. Supporting the lectures, seminars will critically question the given topics through such lens as ‘shattering the familiar’, ‘othering’, ‘decolonising design history’, and ‘Quo vadis, Dansk Design?’. Zooming in on Danish design of the past, including its roles in shaping the Welfare State, this course explores the meanings and purposes of design and the ways design can enrich everyday life. Honing in on Danish design of the past in this course is also significant because it can aid us in shedding new light on our understandings of contemporary design – and thus also help transform our comprehensions of how sustainable and equitable futures may be constituted.  

NB-1: This Danish Design course does not directly overlap the course material covered in the Danish Architecture and Urban Design course. It is thus completely suitable to enrol in both courses in the same semester if so desired. 

NB-2: This Danish Design course will be taught as a fully online (synchronous via Zoom) course in Fall 2021.