Salone Milan 2010 – Danish Mindcraft(s)

Salone Milan 2010 – Danish Mindcraft(s)

Danish Crafts will be presenting Mindcraft for the third time in Milan this year, continuing to bring a selection of the best of Danish craftspeople to Zona Tortona. The exhibit, entitled “Would You Mind,” presents an “open-minded approach to form and materials,” representing the edge of formal and material experimentation, while situating craft in a dialogue with art and design.

Mathias Bengston’s Paper Chair, for example, mixes both digital and hand-making process to create a chair from recycled paper. Each of the 2000 profiles is coated with a thin film of glue, then stacked together and exposed to both pressure and heat, forming a “homogenous 3-dimensional body.” Bengston uses both black and white paper to highlight the form and lend it a graphic nature.

Isabel Berglund’s Closet Knitter, is a completely hand-knit, white closet, containing a chair with a sweater for a seat and a floating wig/light socket. Conflating function, texture, surreality, and occupability, the work seeks to “move between categories such as design, art and fashion.”

Katrin Borup’s Heavy Metal, maybe the cheekiest of all the Mindcraft projects, is a golden ring with a giant rock for a gem, carved by a stone cutter. Not just a visual joke, the ring alludes to an important back story—in order to produce an ounce of gold, a big chunk of mountain is removed and crushed.

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Miniature model of Ditte Hammerstrøm’s new piece of furniture for Mindcraft.
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A still unfinished version of a new timepiece by Astrid Krogh.

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Ceramist Louise Hindsgavl is crafting a piece of furniture.

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Isabel Berglund is knitting for Mindcraftrgrethe Odgaard is experimenting with colours and folds for the upcoming exhibition.

All photos: Lars Gundersen.

The new generation in Danish design on show in Milan

Danish craft and design has undergone a wave of renewal and revival in recent years. 14 of Denmark’s most talented craftspeople who are part of the new generation in Danish design participate in DANISH CRAFTS’ exhibition MINDCRAFT10. It is the third time that DANISH CRAFTS presents MINDCRAFT during Salone del Mobile, and as previously the exhibition is on display in Zona Tortona, Spazio Vuoto, 55a via Savona.

Denmark has a proud design history, but the great masters of the past such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner and Poul Kjærholm have also overshadowed their young successors. This is no longer the case. A new generation of creative and skilled craftspeople and designers have demonstrated that they are capable of taking up the mantle.

14 of these innovative and talented craftspeople and designers have been handpicked to participate in DANISH CRAFTS’ exhibition MINDCRAFT10. All the participating craftspeople and designers have been asked to create completely new works that reflect their unique knowledge of materials and materiality. The unique value that is generated when the right material interacts with the right form at the right time makes a significant difference and is of vital importance to the lifetime and meaning of a product.

The result is 12 powerful works that highlight the tremendous renewal and genuine craft value that characterize the field today. Originality, an explicit urge to experiment and an outstanding sense of materiality are the essence of the works of this year’s MINDCRAFT.

Would you mind?

But MINDCRAFT10 also asks questions. Is it possible to live a decent life without a walk-in closet, as for instance the Danish textile designer Isabel Berglund asks? By asking the simple question: Would You Mind? the exhibition asks us to consider the questions raised by her and by the other Danish craftspeople and designers. Among them ceramist Louise Hindsgavl, whose chair The Pet addresses our fascination with pets and questions the way we relate to them. In other words, the exhibition asks us to consider many of the absurdities of everyday life and society that we have more or less come to take for granted and consider normal.

Thus, MINDCRAFT10 is an exhibition that probes our conscience, appeals to us and challenges us, compelling us to consider and address the messages conveyed by the works and to answer the questions they raise.

The exhibition is curated and designed by Danish architect Karen Kjærgaard.


MINDCRAFT is the name of the highly acclaimed exhibitions that DANISH CRAFTS has presented in Zona Tortona in connection with the Milan Design Week in recent years. The MINDCRAFT concept was launched in Milan in 2008. Later that year, the exhibition won the prize for “Best Contribution to 100% Design” when presented in London. The MINDCRAFT concept portrays the development from Handcraft to Mindcraft – a new conceptual design attitude among Danish craftspeople where storytelling, reflection and critical comments are combined with craft skills and aesthetic qualities.

Participants in Danish Crafts’ exhibition:

ISABEL BERGLUND, Textile Designer


DITTE HAMMERSTRØM, Furniture Designer

KATRINE BORUP, Jewellery Designer

ASTRID KROGH, Textile Designer


FLINDT & JERICHAU, Furniture designer

MIA LERSSI, Glass Artist



SALTO & SIGSGAARD, Designer, Architect

SØREN ULRIK PETERSEN, Designer, Cabinet Maker

In addition to the MINDCRAFT10 exhibition at Spazio Vuoto, DANISH CRAFTS presents selected works from MINDCRAFT at the renowned design store and exhibition venue Spazio Rossana Orlandi, via Matteo Bandello 14/16. The works are made by Mathias Bengtsson and Isabel Berglund. Other renowned designers such as Duch designers Maarten Baas and Thomas Eyck and the Finnish design company Artec are also on show at Spazio Rossana Orlandi.

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