WEEK TWO / UGE TWO

This week was jam packed with expanding my mind and experiences!  We had a study tour of four sites in Denmark.

First stop – A community center/library in an up and coming neighborhood – just outside of the Copenhagen city center (Biblioteket Rentemestervej).  I observed how adding onto an existing building rather than tearing it down – can enhance the richness of the population it serves through a sense of sensitivity.

Second stop – An old village church (Grundtvigskirken) constructed mainly out of bricks (5 million to be exact!).  The most striking feature of this building is the craftsmanship that pays attention to the detail of how it was put together.  In comparison, the basilica’s of Rome have a heavy artisan touch of adornments, embellishments, and decoration.  The simplicity in a lack of art and murals allows the space to transform into a place where the focus is the environment and not the visuals occupying it.

Third stop – A question first – How do you celebrate the rich story of Denmark’s maritime history???  (Answer) You drain a historical dry dock where merchant ships operated and build the M/S Maritime Museum.  In case you are wondering, yes, you can walk under the museum in an open air area at the bottom!

Final stop – Modern museums like the Guggenheim are more about the architecture that houses the art than the art itself.  When you’re in a museum or gallery – you know it… However, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art feels more like a country club & public park – I mean, have you ever been to a museum that has a 2 story outdoor slide that leads to a path overlooking a pond?  Or have you ever been to a museum where families would set up a picnic on the grass amongst the sculptures and eat overlooking the coast?  I haven’t until I experienced this museum.  It lacks the feel of a formal museum space and is more akin to an environment allowing the viewer to discover the art rather than it being presented to you.

Outside the classroom I learned how summers arrival does not go unnoticed by the Danes.  Historically they celebrated it by burning a witch in remembrance of the of the Danish church’s witch burnings from 1540 to 1693. This burning was believed to send the witch away to the Brocken mountain in Gremany where wican gathering were thought to be held on June 24th.  Luckily today the witches are fake and are the kindle for a very short lived bonfire along the water (it burns down in minutes and is not kept going).  Afterwards, drinks and socializing are shared by many.

Tomorrow morning I leave for my regional study tour of Sweden and Norway.  I shall return with a deeper understanding of how design was utilized or used as an intervention.  And of course – Pictures! 

(Due to the travel arrangements my Week Three/Uge Tre post may be a bit late – I apologize in advance)

IMG_0245
Louisiana water front with sculptures!
IMG_0254
Louisana – New way to skip stones on water, perhaps?
Biblioteket - designed to look like a stack of books!
Biblioteket – designed to look like a stack of books!
IMG_0195
I love the rich patina on the historical buildings.
IMG_0238
Fountain and small plaza driving between sites.
IMG_0233
Walk under the M/S Maritime Museum & walk in a dry dock at the same time!
IMG_0198
Did I mention I love the patina on spires? (warning: there may be more pics of these)
IMG_0227
Inside the Maritime looking out.
IMG_0207
A very traditional Danish fishing boat.
IMG_0193
Above the Maritime looking a long way down.
IMG_0174
I would hate to be the guy who had to count all 5 million bricks for this magnificent place designed to cater to the soul.

WEEK ONE / UGE ONE

After I arrived to my home for the next 7 weeks I decided to jump right into getting culturally adjusted by picking up a bike to rent.  In Copenhagen 1/3 of the population bikes – not for leisure or for exercise – but to and from work.  This is their primary means of transportation.  It is ingrained in their way of life.  I was given a transportation card to use for the public transportation systems while I am here – but the only way to truly experience the Danish culture is to travel by bicycle.  You may not believe this to be true but getting lost in this city is a great way to get a better understanding of your surroundings.  I came across places I would not have found had I not taken a wrong turn.  Exploration allows adventure and discovery.

I have taken minimal pictures this week because I have been taking it all in with my senses to experience the city of Copenhagen.  Through the context of experience I can better understand.  The best way to understand is to experience.  I am learning how to notice the same thing in different ways (what specific buildings look like during different times of days & how the atmosphere may change – Is there a connection to the two?  These are the thoughts I am engaging my mind in to obtain a stronger understanding of urban design and the landscapes they transform.

The graffiti transforms the sterile architecture of the train yard. this opens an opportunity for passengers on the train to view something other than their phone and engage the external built environment. The palette of color is also viewable from a pedestrian bridge, thus allowing a second audience to experience the built environment differently.
The graffiti transforms the sterile architecture of the train yard. this opens an opportunity for passengers on the train to view something other than their phone and engage the external built environment. The palette of color is also viewable from a pedestrian bridge, thus allowing a second audience to experience the built environment differently.
To take a picture looking down at flowers would be disengaging - sometime you just have to get down and close to really experience the natural organic beauty.
To take a picture looking down at flowers would be disengaging – sometime you just have to get down and close to really experience the natural organic beauty.

UpClose

This repetition is intriguing considering the variety of bikes in the city
This repetition is intriguing considering the variety of bikes in the city.

ABOUT / CIRKA

Hello or Hej!

I am an undergrad at the University of Michigan working on my BFA at the Penny W Stamps School of Art & Design.  My academic and personal goals have led me to the field of Design.  My passion is my intrigue with how we interact with objects and experience environments.  Exploring different concepts and methods allow for the opportunity to develop novel ideas and new perspectives.  I love to observe and question human behavior, because these actions of today develop our habits of tomorrow.  Through my work, I hope to improve the world we inhabit by better utilizing the tools and materials around us. For 7 weeks I will be studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark learning about Urban Design at The Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).  During this time I plan on acquiring a deeper understanding of Nordic design principles and their global impact.  I expect to learn more about how people interact within communities and how the use of space influences human life interaction and vice versa.  This international experience will ready me to implement socially and environmentally conscious user design which is commonplace in the Danish & Scandinavian landscape. I will share a weekly post highlighting my growth & experiences.  I hope you can find the time to check in now and then to share in this new journey & experience of personal, professional, & educational growth. Wes.