Co – curator Gerard Reinmuth (AU)


Kulturstyrelsen / Danish Agency for Culture

Danish Design at the House


The Sydney Opera House, Western Foyer

The exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House designed by Jørn Utzon. Danish Design at the House inhabits and transforms the six sculpted bay windows in the Western Foyer of the Sydney Opera House – an architectonical element Utzon first developed for his own house in Majorca in 1972 and which he evolved further for the Sydney Opera House some 35 years later. Holding a magnificent design story in their own right.

These windows provide ready-made exhibition cases evident for organizing the exhibition. Within each of the six enlarged windows, six young Danish architects have been asked to arrange six temporary installations, each focusing on a significant property within Danish design practice: Desire, Human, Pragmatism, Technology, Craft and Materiality.

Engaging the six architects to design a window inside Utzon’s window adds an extra layer to the exhibition, not only in terms of showcasing products exclusively and differently from that of a fair ground aesthetic but also as means of explaining the valuable coherence between design, craft and architecture. The idea of exhibiting Danish design products along with fine Danish craft likewise contributes to the core of the exhibition. The unique juxtaposition of design, craft and architecture – and how they mutually influence each other – builds on a long lasting Danish tradition of thinking and shaping through materials, representing a holistic attitude and a great sense of human scale. And it is a way to understand how Danish design evolves, based on a tradition of working between craft and technology, and with the ability to combine pragmatics and functionality with emotional desire. These are all properties that qualify Danish design.

Gerard Reinmuth & Karen Kjaergaard