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News & stories | Alcova 2023

Alcova 2023: The Installation 'This is Denmark' Explores Danish Design Heritage in Milan in an Unconventional Way

Denmark and Italy share a special connection in terms of design, both having a proud legacy of family-run businesses and a long tradition of quality craftsmanship. The installation 'This is Denmark' at Alcova 2023 explores the history of 15 Danish brands interpreting their national heritage. This is illustrated through 15 selected objects exhibited in a water landscape, accompanied by a generative soundscape to create an immersive atmosphere.

The purpose of the exhibition is to reinterpret and showcase the heritage of Danish design. By presenting the objects in a water landscape, the curators aim to shift the perspective of visitors, illustrating how the value of cultural heritage is perceived and interpreted in the present day. Each of the fifteen objects showcased serves as an embodiment of a brand and its interpretation of Danish heritage.

Alcova 2023

An Independent Design Platform

Alcova continues its mission of highlighting the most forward-thinking design, with more than 70 projects presented at this year's Milan Design Week. The installation 'This is Denmark' is a project by the Embassy of Denmark in Rome, in collaboration with Creative Denmark and Danish Industry, curated by design journalists Elena Cattaneo and Laura Traldi and designed by Matteo Ragni Studio.

The exhibition, which allows visitors to experience Danish design in an innovative and different way, is set in a room flooded with water. From a wooden walkway, visitors can observe the 15 design objects emerging on platforms in the water like islands. A large mirror wall at the end of the path adds a sense of infinity to the surroundings.

House of Finn Juhl is part of the exhibition with the iconic Chieftain Chair, one of Finn Juhl's absolute masterpieces, symbolizing the pinnacle of his career as a furniture designer. In addition to the exhibition, House of Finn Juhl also furnished a lounge area with Juhl's popular two-person sofa, the Poet Sofa, accompanied by the Pelican table. 

The Chieftain Chair by House of Finn Juhl is one such object. It is a symbol of the Danish Modern movement's spread to the United States in the 1950s and represents a turning point in Danish furniture art. The chair has since contributed to Finn Juhl's international recognition as a leading figure in Danish design tradition.

The lounge area furnished by House of Finn Juhl, featuring the Poet Sofa and the Pelican Table, also plays an integral part in the exhibition. This area provides visitors with a chance to rest and absorb the atmosphere while experiencing the comfort and craftsmanship of Juhl's designs firsthand. The Poet Sofa, with its embracing curve and exceptional comfort, is a testament to Juhl's dedication to craftsmanship and material respect. The accompanying Pelican Table, with its organic form, is a further reflection of Juhl's affiliation with modern art.

On 17 April 2023, Mary Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, visited Alcova to mark the opening of the 'This is Denmark' exhibition.

The Poet Sofa was first displayed at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition in 1941 and is characterized by exceptional comfort, superb craftsmanship, and respect for the materials used. The sofa is accompanied by the small round Pelican table, exemplifying Finn Juhl's affinity with modern art.

Overall, the 'This is Denmark' installation is an innovative tribute to the enduring legacy of Danish design. Through immersive and unconventional presentation, it offers visitors a fresh perspective on the importance of heritage in shaping contemporary design.