DCC Danish Design

Course content

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’, ‘decolonosing design history’, and ‘Quo vadis, Dansk Design?’. Furthermore, field studies to significant local sites afford opportunities for to challenge experiential blindness and deepen place-based learning. 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 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: 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. 


Name of Exam: HDCB01171E The Formation of Modern Denmark


Danish Culture Courses

The course will be conducted on-campus through lectures.

The course is only offered to exchange and fee-paying guest students (international and Danish) at the University of Copenhagen.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written take-home assignment with an optional subject following active class participation. 11-15 standard pages.

The active class participation consists of an approved synopsis 2-3 standard pages.

Exam in case of non-approved active class participation consists of a written take-home assignment with an optional subject. 16-20 standard pages.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (evening/weekend)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 200
  • Seminar
  • 14,8
  • Exam Preparation
  • 129,5
  • English
  • 372,3