Elmgreen & Dragset

A subversive humor stands in these socially engaged installation by the scandinavian contemporary artists Ingar Dragset and Michael Elmgreen. They met in Copenhagen where they formed the duo Elmgreen & Dragset and since that day their work “raises issues around how designs and spaces influence and reflect social conventions and behavioural patterns.”

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Social Mobility (staircase), 2005

ARKEN Museum

Ishøj, Denmark

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Powerless Structures, Fig. 11, 1997

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Humlebæk, Denmark.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • February 16, 2013

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Melancholia

Melancholia, 2011

Lars Von Trier

Dicotomies are probably the protagonists of this visionary movie. Starting from the two main characters: Justine and Claire.

Two sisters:

Justine, frustrated by various personal and professional difficulties who has hard time finding her role in the world, and

Claire, the sensible girl who is growing an happy family and who is trying to attenuate her sister’s depression.

But soon these opposite traits are overturned by the threat of a planet: “Melancholia” that is assumed to collide with the Earth.

As the planet approaches to the Earth Justine became more calm while Claire more and more distraught. Justine has nothing to loose, just her depression, while Claire will loose all her hopes.

Melancholia guide us in a profound, visceral vision of depression and destruction.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • February 7, 2013

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Simply Chocolate

Packaging has been always an interesting communication field for graphic designers.

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Simply Chocolate, a danish chocolate factory, decided to commission to Bocca a new graphic design concept for a series of chocolates.

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The curious idea is that the packaging is not characterised by images, but by colourful words. Humor and crispness are the traits that made this project a nominee for the Danish Design Award 2012 in the Category of Graphic design.

Minty Cindy, Black Betty, Salty Fred, Mocca Molly, French Fifi are not just  chocolate bars, they are Simply Chocolate bars.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • January 26, 2013

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Christiania bikes

 

Christiania bikes are a special kind of bikes developed in the car-free Freetown “Christiania“.The first one was produced in 1984 and its special characteristics made its success.  Its design is combined with safety, quality and durability. Nowadays you can spot lots of them not just in Christiania but all around Copenhagen.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • January 1, 2013

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Wheels at Arken

Anselm Reyle

Wagon wheel, 2009

ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Ishøj, Denmark

Reyle’s art mixes an elegant abstraction with “banal” found-objects as a wagon wheel. This intriguing dialogue composes a changing sculpture that plays with lights and creates an innovative aesthetics. That’s probably why the artist was awarded the ARKEN art prize in 2012.

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • December 20, 2012

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Känken: an arctic fox on your shoulders

Känken by Fjällräven

“Straight backs are happy backs. Kånken was launched in 1978 to spare the backs of school children. Back problems had begun to appear in increasingly younger age groups and shoulder bags were popular. Kånken has many simple, clear functions. The backpack soon became a common sight at pre-schools and nature schools around the country. The idea of using a backpack quickly spread, as did Kånken. It is just as popular today, and an excellent choice for school, outings or biking to work. Kånken is made out of durable, lightweight Vinylon F. The large main compartment with a large opening makes it easy to put in/take out items. Two side pockets and a zippered pocket in the front. Handle at the top, narrow, supple shoulder straps, sitting pad in the pocket in the back and logo that doubles as a reflector.” 

For sure, you will spot lots of these “arctic foxes” on the shoulders of Nordic people.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • December 3, 2012

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Crouching my rugbrød

Differences between the northern and the southern countries can be noticed on the most basic food too: bread.

White bread for the south, brown bread for the north.

Denmark has its rugbrød, a special kind of brown bread even more darker. It is made with flour from rye grain, high in fiber with a very strong flavor.

But the most appetizing thing is that this bread is usually embedded with all kind of seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, linseeds etc.

Crouching your rugbrød, these different consistences will release an explosion of crispness, fragrances and pointedly flavours. Not an insipid bread at all, in all meanings of the word.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • December 1, 2012

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Buildings in Ørestad

 

 

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BIG’s Houses

Since the turn of the millennium, Copenhagen has seen a boom in modern architecture with notable contributions by leading international architects (such as Foster, Hadid, Nouvel and Liebeskind)

But fortunately the city didn’t forget its Danish countrymen, who have become some of the most successful architects in recent years.

A key area of this architectural development is without doubt “Ørestad”, that few years ago was just a green area with few modest constructions built around nature and water (the natural park “Kalvebod Fælled” is actually located in this area).

Now, if you bike through its streets you can breathe a new air that gives out a mix of culture, education, modernity and still nature! In fact the new buildings are continuing to dialogue with the natural tradition of this area.

Here I’m going to present some housing architecture by a Danish architects’ group: BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group.

A perfect example of the effective encounter between nature and modernity is represented by the so called “VM Mountain”.

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It consists of a terraced housing that compose a concrete hillside. And the base of this artificial hill is a parking area.

This housing complex is surrounded by canals and lot of vegetation, but plants are also growing on the terraces of the houses, on some particular roof gardens.

Next to the VM Mountain is the VM Houses.

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There are two different blocks, one that has the shape of a V and the other of a M. In the middle there is a courtyard that unify the two, creating a space where people can meet surrounded by a glazed “mosaic”.

Finally, we meet probably the most celebrated and multi award-winning: the 8 Tallet. The most interesting thing about this progressive apartment complex is that is at the same time a small neighborhood in itself. People can literally “live” in this newly created area because they have everything they need: their house, their offices, their markets, their art galleries, their shops etc.

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Architects didn’t forget about the green spaces: the intimate interior courtyards, green roofs and, above all, a spectacular view towards the Copenhagen Canal and Kalvebod Faelled park.

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Citing the architechts: “8 House is a perimeter block that morphs into a knot, twisting and turning to maximize the life quality of its many inhabitants”.

 

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi • November 21, 2012

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Kalvebod Fælled

Copenhagen is situated on two islands: Zealand and Amager.

Here below I’m going to talk about the second one, Amager, more specifically about the western part of this island: Vestamager. If it suddenly happens that you are in the midst of this area you’ll have the impression to stay in the middle of nowhere, in a forgotten rural area, very far away from the first small village. But we are just few kilometers away from central Copenhagen. For sure, nowhere else in Europe there is a natural area of this size so close to a city and with a metro station on the doorstep!

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This huge park, better known as Kalvebod Fælled, is also the perfect habitat for lots of animals i.e cows, deers and horses. Thanks to their grazing, the forest won’t spread too much, maintaining the characteristic meadows and wetlands.

In fact, this place is from 0 to 2 meters below the sea level. Here, before 1938, there was just water. In the aftermath it was dammed and drained for military use. So this reclaimed sea bed, at first,  was not offering the bucolic realm to animals and people that we can admire today.

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The military use ended in 1983, and from this date most of the area was converted in a parkland, opened to the public in 2010, after having been cleared of unexploded munitions. Moreover, in order to protect this richness a Nature Centre has been established and in the southwestern corner there is an important reserve (recognized by the European Union) for wading birds where the access is fordidden. Indeed, a natural paradise.

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Thanks to this conversion Vestamager now offers wide natural expanses, where Copenaghers can run away from the city stress and devote themselves to a pure otium, laid on the grass.

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By Maria Vittoria Ceschi •

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DRAKKAR(t)

Maria Vittoria Ceschi

I'm an italian girl, studying Economics in Milan. And I'm getting the chance to spend three months in Copenhagen for an Internship program in a small company run by artists. That's why I decided to take advantage from this experience to explore Denmark and scribble something of my "discoveries" in my blog. Sharing my knowledge with the others will add value to my path but also to other's paths. This is the goal that I'm trying to reach, so just jump aboard on my DRAKKAR(t).