I am currently exhibiting some of my latest works at the Egedal Library in Ølstykke, close to Copenhagen. The exhibition casts an eye over the aesthetic splendor of the mid-twentieth century as a celebration of the modernist spirit. The large format works lead us to a time when the future was brighter than ever.
Forget about the wheel. More than 8.000 years ago, somebody came up with the great idea of bridging a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical ones. A new functional element to move in space was invented.
It’s staggering just how many iconic stairs provided value to spaces and rapidly evolved beyond aesthetic and engineering virtuosity into symbolism, power and religion references for maximum impact. From the Tower of Babel to the stairway to the Acropolis.
No matter where you are you find fascinating staircases that make your day more enjoyable. Here are some of the ones I have found during the last couple of years.
Denmark is seriously reinventing its Christmas traditions, so If you have always wondered what it would be like to experience a refreshingly Nordic Christmas, now is the time. It only takes a few minutes to pick up your phone and call that Danish family you met on holidays or that business girl from the last business fair and get invited. A SAS or Norwegian seat is waiting with your name on it to a Scandinavian country that can offer new experiences fuelled by design. Continue reading
Do you believe that modernist architecture is western culture’s gift to the world? If so, think again. Modernism has been less disruptively original as you might think. What lies behind many of the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, or the Eameses were actually invented in the Japanese middle ages. We have just copied and pasted them into European designs and almost no one has noticed. Continue reading
Remember how you felt at that last business fair? You may be all too familiar with this load of fancy pop-up architecture and temporary pavilions. You may even have visited an international exposition. But you probably haven’t experienced the kind of months-long mega-blowout as millions did in Chicago in 1893. Continue reading
Add some Modernism to your Instagram feed with frequent updates of the modern life we love.
Before Mies Van der Rohe, before Metropolis, before the Bauhaus, there was a guy who invented the future before anyone thought we needed one. Ever wonder what the future would look like? Just hop into your virtual DeLorean and travel back to the years before WWI, right where the Stone Age begins for most millennials. Continue reading
Brutalism is the Chuck Norris of architecture: it is loved or hated, but it cannot be ignored. Few people see the charm in massive concrete blocks or understand the utopian visions of future communities that these brutalist architects imposed. Continue reading
Each day, we’re warned about new dangers, and robots frequently inhabit our fears to make us paranoid of the future. For every lovable WALL-E, there’s a terrifying Terminator. We fear the latter would usher in the fall of our civilization and crush our skulls under its cyborg feet.
Since 1945, Graphis magazine has covered the evolution of the art, advertising, and design world, from Picasso to Swiss typography. I am the lucky owner of some vintage issues from the mid-50s that never became outdated. Continue reading
For you trying to escape reality, Mad Men is the right place. Millions have sought comfort in entertainment, namely from this award-winning show. Becoming one of the most influential shows in recent history, Mad Men has delivered some complex narratives and sharp descriptions of our commercial selves from the ‘40s through the ‘70s. This Emmy Award-winning show is now coming to an end. Continue reading
I recently finished Andy Weir’s novel The Martian. The publishing story of this title is a fine example of how digital media is a great format in which to test new ideas. The drama started when no one was interested in publishing the novel and Weir opted to launch it in Kindle format almost for free. Continue reading
Great movies have great opening titles. Every film director or producer with respect for him or herself hires some of the finest graphic designers for their film titles. Filmmakers such as Otto Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, and David Fincher have relied on great professionals to tell the story before the story is ever told.
No worries if you have never heard of Tyler Brûlé, because many of us working with advertising, marketing, design, and media have. And much of what you have seen, liked and done in the last 15 years has been heavily influenced by Brûlé and the people behind Wallpaper* magazine. Wallpaper* was the must-read glossy, global living guide for future trends at the turn of the century. Continue reading
December marks my one year blogging and I would like to thanks all of you for your interest and positive feedback.
One of the most brilliant pieces of retro-futurist design in Scandinavia is the Herlev Hospital at the outskirts of Copenhagen. Get ready to travel back to a time when the future was a bit brighter and polyester was fashionable. Continue reading
As soon as the news broke that Steve Jobs was returning to Apple, every single person on this planet offered up their own advice with regard to how he should transform the company. Let’s face it – I did it too. Continue reading
Do not expect to meet Alicia Vikander, but do get ready to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and the mid-century modern interiors at the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Northern Norway. We love great film locations in this blog and Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller, Ex Machina deserves a post. This stylish movie about nature and artificial intelligence is a must-see at home. Continue reading
You can never get enough of Berlin. East and West Berlin give us two different ways of understanding the modern movement. And the unified, contemporary Germany offers a third dimension of the modern lifestyle. Enjoy this great city during your next trip to Germany. Here you have some personal snapshots of this great city. Continue reading
Here are some clear signs you’re on the fast-track to spending quality time with friends, family, and yourself this summer:
Chances are you are wearing jeans, t-shirts or sweaters for dinner and you definitely should consider dressing up.
Get inspiration from a time when people were as glamorous at home as they are on the red carpet today. In 1958, Life Magazine provided a glimpse inside one of the most stylish American homes at the time, the Beattie residence. This solid piece of good design from the American architect Ulrich Franzen, well known for the mid century Modern aficionado. Continue reading
Do you love modernist architecture and Corporate America in the mid-twentieth century? Can you still enjoy Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce?
Best known for his furniture, the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen has the dubious honor of being the most copied designer ever. Ironically, at the height of his career he was accused of being too closely inspired by contemporary architects.
Copy or borrow? How far do you think Arne Jacobsen went? Continue reading and decide for yourself.
The Danish Internet Award is where you put digital agencies, media agencies, and the biggest advertisers in one place to celebrate the best in digital communication. We at Eniro decided to be a sponsor again. Continue reading
Good work requires requires a good architectural environment. We at Eniro, the leading Scandinavian local search company, have just moved from an anonymous industrial area to new offices in the city of Frederiksberg in Copenhagen. Continue reading
If you are looking for someone to thank for the bike culture in Copenhagen, you have to travel back in time to the late 1940s when Copenhagen officials presented two ambitious car-centric plans that went really wrong and resulted in the opposite solution. Continue reading
After booking a stay in Lisbon with their new app, it is quite clear to me why Airbnb is challenging the lodging industry like no other service has ever done. With more 800,000 listings in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries, Airbnb provides a new travel experience: staying in another person’s home. I must say that Airbnb is in different league than the usual hotel chains. This is why: Continue reading
Our family enjoys living in a housing project in Greater Copenhagen designed in the sixties by one of the most prominent architectural studios at that time, Fællestegnestuen. It is a high-density development with an inward-looking plan clearly inspired by kasbahs. The exterior walls are plain white facades without windows, but there are large windows facing the garden. The one-story atrium houses are built in a grid in which car and foot traffic are completely grade-separated. You can ride your bike many kilometers in the city without crossing a road.
Saturday morning, the kids are bored and you plan a visit to a museum. Some simple ideas and little planning will make your day go smoothly. I would like to share with you some ideas that have helped our three children to become regular museumgoers: Continue reading
There was sound and fury when Erick van Egeraat’s housing project for Krøyers Plads in the harbor district of Christianhavn was unveiled. It seemed as if the contemporary Dutch architect was trying to mess with a part of Copenhagen that a Dutch engineer (Johan Semp) had built 400 years before. Continue reading
It has long been said that bad guys get all the best locations in movies. The pimp Pierce Patchett in the classy movie LA Confidential is a good example. Following the best film noir tradition, the film was shot mostly on location in Los Angeles, and Patchett gets to live in the architectural masterpiece Lovell Health house from Richard Neutra as his home. Continue reading
Imagine a school based on human values, motivation and critical thinking with exchanges abroad. Such was Instituto-Escuela in 1930, a revolutionary education institution inspired by the latest educational trends from Germany and the Netherlands and one of the most modern schools in Europe at that time. Continue reading
While working for the city council during the 1920’s, Ángel González produced some of the best romantic palaces and historicist buildings in the city of Cáceres, in Western Spain. Some might have originally expected him to continue on that trajectory during that prosperous period in Spain, but González shifted dramatically into Functionalism, designing the most modern housing in Cáceres at his time. Continue reading
We have agreed in our family that next time we visit Madrid, we will go see the city’s horse racetrack “La Zarzuela”. Designed by Carlos Arniches, Martín Domínguez and the engineer Eduardo Torroja, it is one of the most brilliant architectural works of 1930’s Spain. Continue reading