Thrones, Seats, Chairs
Trip Start Oct 14, 2013
9Trip End Oct 27, 2013
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The no-nonsense café was below ground with windows at street level so that the woman next to us could keep one eye on her infant who was parked on the sidewalk in a large baby carriage with a hood. The babies here are bundled in little down sleeping bags and left to absorb the fresh air, whatever the weather. This accepted practice in Denmark is considered criminal negligence in New York City, to the befuddlement of visiting Danes
Vince took us to the Glass Market, two long glass buildings filled with stands of fresh fish, meat, baked goods, produce, cheese and flowers. Like similar food meccas in Europe and the U.S. (think Pike’s Market in Seattle or Quincy Market in Boston), the Glass Market was a quick (though not cheap) way to see and sample the local specialties. Chris tried the ubiquitous smorrebrod (a slice of dense brown bread topped with fish or meat, sauce and herbs); Vince and I sampled traditional bread and pastries. Oh, and another coffee at Coffee Collective, another serious local roaster. Now we were ready for some hard tourist action.
We started at the nearby Rosenborg Castle, a renaissance era palace that served as the summer residence for Christian IV. The big attraction is the crown jewels housed in the heavily guarded basement – crowns, swords, etc. The rest of the castle is modest in size and filled with portraits of the royal family across the generations. The portraits showed a strong, consistent resemblance highlighted by an extremely unfortunate nose that seemed to persist in the bloodline for hundreds of years. The theme for the day was chairs, and there were several noteworthy examples here. The top floor housed a traditional throne room. One floor down, Chris and Vince were amused by the mechanical prankster’s chair, which would pin the unsuspecting victim’s arms down, produce farting noises, then pour water through a hole to make it appear that the person had wet his pants
Surrounding the Castle are large and beautiful (now) public gardens filled with children and their parents enjoying the fall day. The sun had finally broken through and we found a bench to sit and soak it in. Vince tells us that the sun never seems to get very high in the sky and that, by December it will set before 4:00 p.m.
From Rosenborg, we walked to one of Vince’s favorite places: Design Museum Denmark. Denmark is, of course, famous for the design of furniture and objects and most particularly chairs. Chair design is also one of Vince’s obsessions and he has just finished designing and building his own in his New Nordic design class. He took us through the galleries, explaining each designer, and the evolution of materials, construction and forms.
We parted ways with Vince until dinner. Shortly after, he was spotted by a local street fashion photographer, who captured his “look", which was posted on Copenhagen Look Book today. www.copenhagenlookbook.tumblr.com
Chris and I were not not similarly detained and went home for a nap in time for our New Nordic dinner. I will describe that meal in the next post, but on the subject of chairs, I'll fast forward a bit and mention that, afterward, Vince took us by the DIS studio to show us his chair. He was to present it to the faculty the following afternoon, and so Vince practiced on us his explanation of how his effort was "dialoging" with the great history of Danish chair design.